Act 3 Scene 2 as Pivotal to Hamlet

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Act 3 Scene 2 as Pivotal to Hamlet

In this essay I will discuss to what extent is act 3 scenes 2 pivotal

to “Hamlet”. First I will give a brief introduction to the play up to

act 3 scenes 2.

In Act 1 Hamlet is mourning from the death of his father King Hamlet

who died two months ago and is angry that his mother Gertrude has

already remarried his uncle Claudius the present King so soon after

his father’s death. Hamlet then sees his father in the form of a

ghost. The ghost of King Hamlet tells him that he was poisoned by King

Claudius, the current ruler of Denmark. The ghost tells Hamlet to

avenge his death but not to punish Queen Gertrude for remarrying; it

is not Hamlet’s place and her conscience and heaven will judge her.

Hamlet swears to avenge his father’s death.

In Act 2 Hamlet considers how to kill Claudius, he tricks everyone

into thinking he is mad so no one shall suspect anything from him in

the future. He also contemplates suicide and cannot make up his mind

whether to kill Claudius. Hamlet meets some players and invites them

back to the castle.

In Act 3 scenes 1 Hamlet makes his famous speech “To be or not to be,

that is the question: (3.1.58). Here he is grappling with the

difficulty of taking actions against Claudius and the fact that he has

not been able to revenge his father’s murder yet.

He also incites Claudius and Gertrude to the play he has written later

on that evening.

In Act 3 scenes 2 Hamlet puts on the play “the mouse trap” a depiction

of the death of his father. When the play comes to the part where the

king is poisoned in the same way Claudius poisoned King Hamlet,

Claudius jumps up and tells them to stop the play and turn on the

lights. He acts as though he is appalled and completely confirms his


In the next scene we see Claudius praying at an altar seeking
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