Hamlet: Novel Summary: Act 3, Scene 1

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Rosencrantz and Guildenstern report that they have failed to discover the cause of Hamlet's madness.  They tell Claudius and Gertrude that the Prince showed signs of joy regarding the upcoming performance.  Polonius confirms this, further saying that Hamlet would like the King and Queen to attend.  Next, Claudius instructs Ophelia to meet with Hamlet so that it may be observed whether or not his madness is caused by love.  Polonius and Claudius then follow Ophelia as she wanders out to be met by Hamlet.  Hamlet is initially kind but then turns on her.  He denies having ever loved her and tells her to enter a nunnery.  He calls her father a fool and insults womankind before exiting.  Ophelia is crushed and he King quickly denounces the idea of Hamlet's madness being caused by love.  Claudius decides to immediately send the Prince to England as an Ambassador in order to clear out the cause of his madness but Polonius convinces him to wait until the Queen is able to talk with Hamlet alone. 

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