Act 1 Scene 2: Describe your reaction to a character you confronted in the scene.
This is a reaction to what occurred in Scene 2 when Claudius and Hamlet actually talk to each other. Claudius opens the scene with a long monologue to the court and in it I get the sense that he is trying to behave as an appropriate new kings who had just came to the throne. But, he only has the throne because he married his brother’s widow, Gertrude. He says all the right things under the circumstances, but it is all still a bit off-putting to me. For example, when he says thank you for “going with this affair along” almost acknowledging the inappropriate mature of the situation.
He then goes on to be very dismissive of the external threat that young Fortinbras is posing and reports that he is sending a letter Fortinbras’ uncle. His final words, “so much for him” seem overly confident and a bit arrogant. I can guess that he wants to send the message to the court that he is not intimidated and he has control of the situation, but I still don’t take it that way.
As the scene continues, we see his attempts to act fatherly to his nephew, now step-son. He really should know better than to think that a grown man like Hamlet would want to be called son by a man who had always been his uncle. He hits on all the possible weaknesses in Hamlet in an effort to get him to let it go. After all, if young Hamlet is in deep mourning, then maybe Gertrude and Claudius should be too – instead they’re newly married!
Claudius comes across as an insincere and arrogant in this first meeting. It sets tone for the later scene in which the ghost of King Hamlet returns to reveal the truth about Claudius.
Act 2 Scene 2: Letter to Polonius
What in the world is wrong with you? How can you be so selfish and only care about yourself? Why would you read your daughter’s love letter to the King and Queen? I have so many questions for you. I don’t think you understand...
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