Why does Hamlet shift to speak in poetry when talking to his mother?ACT 3 SCENE 4

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luannw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Hamlet speaks in poetry when he is talking with his mother to show her he is not mad.  She thinks that because he sees the ghost of his father and she does not see it, that he is mad.  When Hamlet wants others to believe he is mad, then he speaks in prose.  In this scene, he says, "That I essentially am not in madness / But mad in craft."

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