What does Act 2 reveal about the mental state of Hamlet?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

At the beginning of Act 2, we find that Hamlet has been quite successful in putting on his "antic disposition."  He has frightened Ophelia and fooled Polonius into thinking he is mad because Ophelia had broken off her relationship with Hamlet at Polonius' request.  Claudius believes that something else is up with Hamlet--which is true-- and wants to explore Hamlet's state of mind further.  Gertrude probably is closest to the truth of what is bothering Hamlet --his father's death and her hasty marriage.  We know that he is certainly despondent about this series of events.  We also know that he is acting.  Through his mad act, Hamlet has been able to ascertain whom he can trust.  He knows Ophelia will confide in her father...

(The entire section contains 373 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team