Please help with homework Hamlet Act II, 2.3: How does Hamlet have a mixed reaction

  1. How does Hamlet have a mixed reaction when reuniting with his childhood pals Rosencrantz and Guildenstern?
  2. Look closely at Hamlet’s speech in II.ii. 316-334. What seems to be the reason he gives them for having “lost all [his] mirth”?
  3. Interpret Hamlet’s “warning” to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern: “I am mad north-north-west. When the wind is southerly, I know a hawk from a hand-saw” (II.ii.402-404). Think back to what he told Horatio in I.v.189-202.
  4. “The play’s the thing”: how do you interpret this line? After his encounter with the Players, how do we see Hamlet’s plan taking shape in this soliloquy at the end of Act II? What do you make of the chiasmus: “What’s Hecuba to him, or he to Hecuba/That he should weep for her?”
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