In the act 3. What consequences will this have on Hamlet and other characters such as Claudius, Ophelia and Laertes?describe the characters.

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mstultz72 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Act IIIs are turning points in Shakespearean plays, as they quicken the downfalls and deaths of their tragic heroes.  Nearly always someone dies in an Act III.  In Hamlet, as in Romeo and Juliet, it is the tragic hero's first murder, though unintended.

In Act III, Claudius and Polonius are looking to resolve the "Hamlet situation."  They both want Hamlet gone.  Claudius wants to execute him outside the country (in England), and Polonius wants him away from his daughter.  Claudius thinks Hamlet might find him out regarding his murder of his brother.  Polonius thinks Hamlet is crazy from the unrequited love of his daughter Ophelia.  First, Polonius wants to spy on Hamlet to be sure, the same way Hamlet wants to spy on Claudius during "The Mousetrap."

Ophelia, Laerters, and Gertrude are used as pawns in the play.  Polonius uses the women as pawns in order to work Hamlet into a frenzy.  First it's Ophelia: Hamlet tells her to get to a nunnery.  Then, it's Gertrude: Hamlet draws a sword on her, and she screams, causing Poloinus to make a sound from behind the curtain.  Hamlet stabs Polonius, thinking--of course--that it is Claudius behind the curtain.

Ophelia does not go to a nunnery; she kills herself.  Laertes, like Hamlet, will want revenge on the man who killed his father and sister.  Claudius will use him as a pawn to kill Hamlet, who wants revenge on him.  Revenge begets revenge.  In the end, all those who seek revenge will find it and be the victims of it.  No one survives its fate.