Polonius, the Meddler

mother and son dialogue (w/ five Hamlets)  split personality or complex emotions?


Scene: 3.4.1-24, Polonius the Meddler STAGING COMPETITION (Interpretive Question to be answered by your group’s performance: What insight into Hamlet’s character do his actions reveal?)

In small groups, read aloud together the “closet scene”–between Hamlet and his mother Gertrude.

Assign lines to five different Hamlets (see below) with the goal of identifying the most vicious of these five Hamlets. In other words, which Hamlet comes closest to breaking his promise not to harm Gertrude? As a group, reach consensus on three reasons this Hamlet is more vicious than any of the other four. NOTE: different members may play Gertrude, and don’t lose track of her feelings in this scene.

Hamlet 1 (ll. 1-50), Hamlet 2 (53-101), Hamlet 3 (102-137), Hamlet 4 (140-181), Hamlet 5 (182-218)