Act 3 Sc. 1, Lines 1–49

Sc. 1, Lines 1–49: Sum up the report from Rosencrantz and Guildenstern and explain what they say about Hamlet in line 8. Comment on the dramatic irony in lines 15–28 by explaining what you know that the characters onstage during these lines do not know. What’s being set up in lines 28–49? What plan does it fulfill from Act II?

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Claudius asks Rosencrantz and Guildenstern what they have learned about Hamlet’s malady. The two reply that they have not been able to find its cause. They do mention, however, that Hamlet was very enthusiastic about the players’ performance that night, which prompts Claudius to agree to attend the play. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern leave.

In Line 8, the tis carewo friends note that Hamlet is careful with his answers and craftily avoids answering them directly.

The dramatic itony in Lines 15-29 can be found in everyone's belief that Hamlet needs entertainment..... that a little laughter will solve his problems and erase his grief.

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