In what ways is Scene II a contrast to Scene I? What do we learn about Gertrude, Claudius, and Hamlet in this scene?Act 1 from Hamlet

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kapokkid | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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There are some simple contrasts, one scene is outside and in the dark of night, involving the visit of some kind of supernatural figure without any explanation, and there are just four characters involved, Bernardo, Francisco, Horatio and Marcellus.  The scene is one mainly steeped in terror.

Scene ii presents a scene of festivity and light and celebration where the entire court of Denmark is present as Claudius and Gertrude announce their union and in a flourish suggest that the kingdom no longer need mourn for the death of its former King, Hamlet Sr..

We learn that Claudius feels like he has gained everything he wanted and is very happy about his marriage to Gertrude and his assumption of the throne.  We learn that Hamlet is somehow sad and not really into the whole party, he is "too much in the sun."  We learn that Gertrude appears to be happy, though slightly worried about Hamlet and glad that he will not leave them but stay in Denmark for the time being.

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