Hamlet: Novel Summary: Act 3, Scene 2

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Hamlet instructs the players on how to perform.  As he is finishing, Polonius, Rosencrantz, and Guildenstern enter to tell him that the King and Queen are on their way to attend the performance.  Horatio enters and Hamlet reminds him of the ghost and secures his help in observing Claudius during the performance for signs of guilt.  The King, Queen, Polonius, Ophelia, and the rest of the court enter for the performance.  Hamlet makes comments to Ophelia for all to hear regarding his mother's hasty marriage.  The players begin with the dumb (without words) show, which depicts a scene identical to the murder of King Hamlet.  Ophelia attempts to elicit the meaning of the dumb show from Hamlet but he will not tell.  The play begins.  Hamlet tells the King and Queen that it is the depiction of a murder in Vienna and narrates as the players continue.  As the murder of the actor king in the garden is enacted, Claudius jumps up, stops the play, and runs out.  Hamlet takes this action as proof of his guilt.  Rosencrantz and Guildenstern arrive to inform him that his mother desires to speak with him.  Polonius enters as they talk and repeats Gertrude's desire.  Hamlet sends them to tell her that he is coming.  He plans to give his mother a harsh talking to.

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