Hamlet by William Shakespeare Act III
Hamlet Act III Scene i l Rosencrantz and Guildenstern report that they did not know the cause of Hamlet’s apparent madness. l After Ophelia leaves, Claudius and Polonius decide to eavesdrop on the conversation between Ophelia and Hamlet l Hamlet verbally attacks Ophelia, denying that he ever loved her.
Hamlet Act III Scene i l Claudius realizes that Hamlet is not in love, and that his madness is caused by something else. l He decides to send Hamlet to England immediately.
Hamlet Act III Scene ii l Hamlet makes arrangements for the play, including the addition of his own lines. l He tells Horatio of his plan and asks him to help observe Claudius’s reaction. l Before the play, Hamlet decided to sit next to Ophelia. l The play begins, and the actors re-create the poisoning that King Hamlet described.
Hamlet Act III Scene ii l Claudius stops the play and abruptly leavers. l Hamlet is reassured. l The Queen sends for Hamlet. l Hamlet decides that he will be harsh with his mother, but that he will not physically harm her.
Hamlet Act III Scene iii l Claudius orders Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to take Hamlet to England. l Polonius announces that he will hide behind the curtain in Gertrude’s room in order to eavesdrop on their conversation. l Alone, Claudius tries to pray, but feelings of guilt interrupt him. l Hamlet comes in and sees Claudius trying to pray, and thinks about killing him.
Hamlet Act III Scene iii l He hesitates, however, because he feels that if he interrupts Claudius in the middle of his prayer, he may go to Heaven. l Hamlet leaves.
Hamlet Act III Scene iv l Hamlet arrives at Gertrude’s room and immediately speaks abruptly and accusingly towards her. l She yells out for help, and behind the curtain, Polonius makes a sound. l Thinking it is the King, Hamlet stabs the curtain, and Polonius falls dead to the floor.
Hamlet Act III Scene iv l The ghost appears, but Gertrude cannot see it, and because of this, she is even more convinced that Hamlet has gone mad. l Hamlet tells her he is only faking, and he orders her not to tell the king.