Hamlet Act III, Scene 1 Summary and Analysis

William Shakespeare

Act III, Scene 1 Summary and Analysis

In the presence of Polonius and Ophelia, King Claudius and Queen Gertrude question Rosencrantz and Guildenstern about their recent conversation with Hamlet; the pair report that although Hamlet confessed to being “distracted,” he would not reveal the cause, evading questioning with “a crafty madness.”

Hamlet’s friends also report that Hamlet was pleased to learn of the visit of the traveling players, and that he has arranged a performance for that night, to which he has invited the King and Queen. The two men leave, and Claudius instructs Gertrude to leave also so as not to encounter Hamlet, for whom he has secretly sent, “That he, as ‘twere by accident, may here / Affront...

(The entire section is 924 words.)