What do each of the main characters(Claudius,Gertrude, and Polonius) feel to be the cause of Hamlet's madness?

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janeyb | (Level 2) Associate Educator

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In Act 1 scene 2, Gertrude and Claudius fret over what they see as Hamlet's "oddness". Gertrude thinks that it is over is father's death and the “o’erhasty” marriage between herself and Claudius. Claudius doesn't say why he thinks that Hamlet is acting odd, but by his suggetstion that Hamlet stay in Denmark we can assume that he thinks that he fears retribution or is frightened by what Hamlet may do. In act two scene one, Polonius decides that the thing that has been bothering Hamlet is his love for Ophelia, he must be lovesick. He is convinced in this by Hamlet's acting strange towards Ophelia. In Act 2 scene 2, Polonius convinces Gertrude and Claudius that Hamlet's maddness stems from being lovesick over Ophelia. He even stakes his job on it.


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