U3: Reduced Scene Script

Act 3 Scene 2

Enter Hamlet and three Players

Hamlet: Guys, you gotta act it with PASSION but also not too much!!! I’d have you whipped for overdoing it. The point is “to hold, as t’were, the mirror up to nature; to show virtue her own feature, scorn her own image”.
First player: gotcha.
The Players exit
Horatio enters.
Hamlet: Yo Horatio! Look at Claudius during the play ok? There’s gonna be a scene that imitates my father’s death, so the king might look guilty
Horatio: Okay, I’ll watch him closely.
Enter Trumpets and Kettledrums, King Queen, Polonius, Ophelia, Rosencrantz, Guildenstern, and other Lords attendant with his Guard carrying torches. Danish March. Sound a Flourish.
Hamlet: They’re coming! I gotta play the fool now.
King: How are you, Hamlet?
Hamlet: I’m great!! I eat the air!!!!
King: Your answer confuses me.
Hamlet: Ophelia, lemme lie in your lap.
Ophelia: You’re strangely happy, Hamlet.
Hamlet: Well yeah I mean my mom looks happy but my dad’s died so…

Trumpets sound. The show begins:
Enter player King and Queen, they hug and the Queen leaves him to sleep. Another man enters and pours poison in the King’s ears.
King: turn on the lights!
King stands up and storms away

Horatio and Hamlet are alone
Horatio: I think that was enough evidence that the King did it
Hamlet: Yes, finally!

Enter Polonius
Polonius: your mother wants to see you in her chambers
Hamlet: hey that cloud kinda looks like a camel
Polonius: …
Hamlet: ok I’ll go

U3: Hamlet Act 2 Discussion Post

Olivia’s question: In the beginning of his soliloquy, Hamlet comments on the player and his ability to weep “for Hecuba.” What is the significance of Hamlet’s comments about the player?

My answer: At the beginning of his soliloquy, Hamlet says, “Tears in his eyes, distraction in his aspect, a broken voice, and his whole function suiting with forms to his conceit? And all for nothing! For Hecuba! What’s Hecuba to him, or he to Hecuba, that he should weep for her?” Here, Hamlet is referring to the player’s acting that he just witnessed and commenting about how the player was able to weep and show so much emotion for Hecuba, a character that he has no true connection to. Following this, Hamlet goes on to lament his frustration about how he cannot express emotion the same way that the player can, despite him having an actual reason to express such emotions (his father being murdered). This goes to show how hard Hamlet is on himself and how he often feels frustrated with what he lacks.

My question: What is the significance of the ongoing situation with Norway and their royal family, particularly young Fortinbras? Why does Shakespeare include this storyline?