Hamlet Act 2 Review Questions

What does Polonius send Reynaldo to do?
He wants Reynaldo to give him money and notes from Polonius, but before doing so, ask others about his behavior and spy on him.

What do Polonius’s instructions to Reynaldo reveal about Polonius’s character? about what he thinks his son capable of? about what Polonius himself might have been like as a youth?
(This is more of an opinionated question, so you can just think of the answer on your own.)

Why does Ophelia come to see her father in the middle of act II, scn i? How do both Polonius and Ophelia interpret this event?
Hamlet’s appearance was in disarray (Ophelia stated “as if he had been loosed out of hell), they both thought that Hamlet was mad for Ophelia’s love

Do you agree with Polonius and Ophelia’s assessment [of Hamlet’s craziness]?Is Hamlet’s scene in Ophelia’s chamber a sign that he has been driven crazy by love for her, or is it a sign of something else? If something else, then what?
(This is more of an opinionated question, so you can just think of the answer on your own.)

What is the relationship between Rosencrantz and Guildenstern and Hamlet? Why do Claudius and Gertrude bring Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to court?
They grew up together.Claudius and Gertrude want them to help Halmet by spending time with him, but also they are hoping that they can figure out why Hamlet is mad

What similarity exists between the action of the king and queen with regard to Hamlet and the action of Polonius, in the preceding scene, with regard to Laertes?
They both are sending someone to figure out things about their son

What is the News from Norway? What does Norway request of Claudius?
The King of Norway (Fortinbras Uncle) thought the war was going to be against the Polack, so when the king found out, he ordered Fortinbras to step down. Now the King of Norway request that their troops pass through Denmark in order to get to the Polack.

In the matter of Fortinbras, does Claudius respond in a wise, kingly matter?
The King says that he likes the idea, but at a different time he will read and answer and think upon it first. (You can decide if you think this is kingly or not.)

What suggestion does Polonius make to the king and queen to explain Hamlet’s madness? What stratagem does Polonius suggest they employ to test his theory?
Polonius suggests that Hamlet is mad because Ophelia began to reject him, and he is mad for her love. He suggests that they bring Ophelia and Hamlet together, and listen in on their conversation.

What do you think of Polonius’s method of testing his hypothesis? Is it moral to do what Polonius suggests that they do?
(This is more of an opinionated question, so you can just think of the answer on your own.)

What does Hamlet call Polonius in scene ii, line 400? Earlier in the scene, what does he tell Polonius that he should do in regard to his daughter?
“O Jephthah, judge of ISrael, what a treasure hadst thou!” (Hamlet is comparing Polonius to Jephthah because both doomed their daughters to not having normal, full lives.) Earlier in the scene, he tells Polonius to not let Ophelia “walk in the sun” (Do not let Ophelia walk in the sun for, like the dead dog who bred maggots, she may conceive a child, and that might not be a blessing. The word “sun” may be in this case, a reference to Hamlet.)

What reason might Hamlet have for calling Polonius what he does in scene ii, line 400?
(I’m not really sure about this one… If anyone knows, let me know and I’ll put it on here!)

What does Hamlet tell Rosencrantz and Guildenstern that denmark is like? About what does he demand that they be truthful with him?
He compares Denmark specifically but also the world as a whole to a prison. He wants them to admit that they were sent for by the King and Queen.

What is Hamlet’s mood in act II? Why does Hamlet not treat his companions with genuine warmth and welcome?
He seems very angry at everyone, and at life. He doesn’t treat them well because he thinks that his friends aren’t truly there for him, and were only there because they were sent for by the King and Queen. He hadn’t seen them for a very long time, and now they come.

When speaking to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, what does Hamlet tell them that the earth and the air are like to him? How does he say that he feels about men and women?
“The earth, seems to me a sterile promontory (barren rock or land jutting into the sea); this most excellent canopy, the air, look you, this brave o-erhanging firmament, this majestical roof fretted with golden fire, why, it appeareth nothing to me but a foul and pestilent congregation of vapors. What a piece of work is a man, how noble in reason, how infinite in faculties (abilities, both mental and physical), in form and moving how express and admirable, in action how like an angel, in apprehension, how like a god! the beauty of the world the paragon (highest model) of animals; and yet to me what is this quintessence of dust? Man delights not me– nor women neither, though by your [Rosencrantz and Guildenstern] seem to say so.”
In short: The world is sterile and empty, like dust

Do you believe that Hamlet really has the opinions that he shares with Rosencrantz and Guildenstern? If so, what is Hamlet’s state of mind? If Hamlet does not have these opinions, why does he say these things?
(This is more of an opinionated question, so you can just think of the answer on your own.)

What speech does Hamlet ask the player to recite? How does Hamlet react to hearing the speech?
Aeneas’ tale to Dido, speciffically about Priam’s murder.He says that the speech was very good and they should be treated well. He also compares himself to Hecuba and feels like a coward.

Why does Hamlet ask that this particular speech be recited? Why does Hamlet react as he does on hearing it?
(I don’t know the answer to this one either, so let me know if you do and I’ll add it!)