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How does Claudius react to Hamlet's play?

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cjooooo | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted July 11, 2007 at 10:24 PM via web

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How does Claudius react to Hamlet's play?

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jmeenach | Teacher | (Level 2) Adjunct Educator

Posted July 11, 2007 at 10:59 PM (Answer #1)

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Claudius stands up during the performance and asks for light so that he can see well enough to leave the court performance.  The death of Gonzago has been so very close the Claudius' alleged murder of King Hamlet that Claudius cannot bear to watch this.  This moment gives Hamlet reason to believe that Claudius did in fact murder King Hamlet, and it gives Claudius good reason to be very suspicious of what Hamlet knows and how he knows it, so it is a critical moment in the play.  Within the next pages of the script, Hamlet will mistakenly kill Polonius who he thinks is Claudius, and Claudius will be making secret arrangements with Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to exile Hamlet to England. 

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