Act II Questions and Answers

Questions

  1. How has Hamlet’s behavior changed?
  2. What does Polonius ask Reynaldo to do?
  3. Who are Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, and why have they been summoned?
  4. How has Claudius resolved the situation with young Fortinbras?
  5. What does Ophelia report to Polonius about Hamlet?
  6. What does Polonius think is the cause of Hamlet’s madness?
  7. What does Polonius suggest to the king and queen as a way to test his theory about Hamlet?
  8. How does Hamlet react to the appearance of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern?
  9. Why is Hamlet upset with himself after hearing the player’s dramatic speech?
  10. How does Hamlet intend to use the play to expose Claudius?

Answers

  1. As he warned in Act I, Hamlet begins to act erratic and seems to have gone mad.
  2. Polonius asks Reynaldo to spy on Laertes in France. He even suggests that Reynaldo spread rumors about Laertes’s wild behavior just to see if anyone confirms them.
  3. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Hamlet’s friends from school. Claudius and Gertrude have summoned them in the hope that they might discover the cause of Hamlet’s recent madness.
  4. Claudius sent a letter to the king of Norway, who was unaware of young Fortinbras’s plans and quickly reined him in.
  5. Ophelia tells Polonius that Hamlet suddenly came into her room, grabbed her, and stared at her strangely without saying a word.
  6. Hearing Ophelia’s report, Polonius decides that Hamlet must have been driven mad by his love for Ophelia.
  7. Polonius suggests that they conspire to get Hamlet and Ophelia alone in a room together and then secretly observe their interaction.
  8. Hamlet is pleased to see his friends at first, but he quickly realizes that they have come on Claudius’s orders.
  9. Hamlet is upset that the player can make himself so passionate about a mere fictional story, while Hamlet seemingly can’t muster the same passion for his real-life revenge.
  10. Hamlet plans to have the players reenact a scene that resembles his father’s murder, intending to watch Claudius’s reaction closely to see if he’s guilty.