Hamlet: Act 2 Scene 2 - Compare Hamlet's Reaction to Arrival of Rosenc

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Hamlet: Act 2 Scene 2 - Compare Hamlet's Reaction to Arrival of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern and To the Players

Yin Choi

Compare Hamlet's reaction to the arrival of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern with his reaction to the arrival of the Playyers. Account for his reactions.

By comparing Hamlet's reaction to the arrival of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern with his reaction to the arrival of the Players, we can observe the different perspectives of Hamlet's character. His reaction to the arrival of his old friends is similar to his reaction to the arrival of the Players in as he is happy to see them all and he reveals his sanity to them all. When Rosencrantz and Guildenstern arrive, Hamlet is overjoyed to see his "excellent good friends" (2.2.227) with whom he grew up. Hamlet is also delighted to meet with the Players. But this is where all the similarities end. In his conversations with Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, Hamlet becomes suspicious of the purpose of his old friends' visit and he is perceptive enough to see through the outer disguise into the interior motives. He forces them to reveal that they have been sent by the King to find out what is causing Hamlet's "transformation" ( 2.2.5). Hamlet admits his sanity by telling his good friends that his "uncle- father and aunt mother are deceived." (2.2.348) Why does Hamlet admit his sanity to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern? Is it an another attempt to at deception, or is it to implant a sense of trust between Hamlet and his old friends? Hamlet could possibly be furthering his plans for revenge by admitting his sanity. Hamlet's friends would relay the message to the King and Claudius may think that Hamlet really is mad for admitting that he was supposedly feigning madness. On the other hand, at the conversation with the Players, his behavior is spontaneous. He welcomes his "good friends" (2.2.431) and it seems that he is "glad" (2.2.430) to see them again. He is friendly, funny and very open in his...
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