Name: Steven P Sanderson II Date: 10-18-2006 Class: Introduction to Literature Professor: M. R.

Garcia Character analysis of Hamlet Acts III and IV To start off, in act III Claudius and Polonius intend to spy on Hamlet. They ask Gertrude to leave and for Ophelia to make as if she is reading a book. Hamlet does come out and gives his famous “To be or Not to be” soliloquy. After he gives his speech he notices Ophelia. Ophelia asks to give back Hamlets gifts of love. He replies that he gave her no such gifts. She speaks of words that he spoke to her. He tells her that he never loved her. Ophelia at this point is told by Hamlet that she would be better of in a nunnery since men are all liars and scoundrels. Ophelia as you can imagine is quite surprised by this and does not know what to make of it. In the next scene the pantomime enacts the killing King Hamlet. After the dumb show is done, the next one begins. The actors now come to the part of Claudius killing King Hamlet, both Claudius and Polonius demand that the show stop and exit the room. Hamlet finds his mother and speaks with her. She pleads that the show was offensive and he begins to chastise her. In the process she yells for help and Polonius who is hiding behind the drapes moves to come to help and Hamlet kills him before he comes out of the drapes. King Hamlet’s ghost makes an appearance here to Hamlet and no one else. The ghost of King Hamlet tells Hamlet to go easy on his mother. Hamlet leaves her and takes the body of Polonius with him. In Act IV the King tells Rosencrantz and Guildenstern that he wants to see Hamlet and is going to banish him from England. The King also discusses with Gertrude how they are going to get rid of the Polonius situation without they themselves being

implicated. After the King has Hamlet hauled in by the guards he is chastised by Hamlet. After Hamlet is released from the king’s presence, the King asks for the King of England to kill Hamlet. In the 7th scene Claudius confirms to Laretes that Hamlet has killed his father Polonius. At that moment Claudius receives a letter from Hamlet and Laretes wonders why he has not punished Hamlet yet for this capitol punishment. Claudius tells him that he will set up a fencing match and give him a foil that is sharp at the end, so that during fighting he can kill Hamlet and it will look like and accident. As a secondary safeguard he will poison a wine goblet for Hamlet to drink, as if to take him out a similar way as his father. At this time Gertrude comes in during their plotting and tells Laretes that his sister Ophelia has drowned, this in turn drives him into a mad rage.