Hamlet Questions and Answers
by William Shakespeare

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Why does Claudius suspect Hamlet "puts on his confusion" in Act III of "Hamlet"?

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Claudius's question is directed at Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, two of Hamlet's childhood friends, whom he has instructed to monitor the prince's behavior. He seeks a report from the two about what they have heard from, and perceived of, the young prince.

Hamlet has been acting quite strangely. After his father's untimely passing, the prince has withdrawn himself and become quite moody. He has been behaving in an irrational manner and has consistently spoken in ambiguous terms. Furthermore, he seems to be overwhelmed with grief, but the king suspects there is more to his conduct than just sorrow for his father's death. Claudius, however, cannot quite put his finger on what is really eating Hamlet.

The king does suspect, though, that a reason for Hamlet's odd behavior might be his obsession with Ophelia, Polonius 's beautiful daughter. He has learned from his adviser that Hamlet has constantly been in conversation with her and has stated his affection. He has written her letters and given her...

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