Spying In Hamlet

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Spying in Hamlet In Shakespeare's Hamlet, spying is an important subject that is displayed throughout the play. The setting of the play takes place in a building in which one room opens into another and hallways turn unpredictably, leading into anywhere from the king's audience rooms to chapels to private rooms. In a setting like this, the play's action of spying seems to be an appropriate activity. From the beginning, the audience sees Hamlet decide to take up his act of an “antic disposition” in order to test the truthfulness of the ghost (Shakespeare I, v, p. 28). Hamlet's “antic disposition,” though meant to lessen the suspicion of his actions, only seems to confuse Claudius and encourage his decision to use Rosencrantz and Guildenstern as spies against him in Act II, scene ii. Claudius says that he wishes that the two men can bring happiness back to Hamlet to get him out of his depressed mood or if anything find out the reason for it. Despite being “excellent good friends” (Shakespeare II, ii, p. 40), Rosencrantz and Guildenstern make the deal to spy on Hamlet even though it puts their friendship in jeopardy. In Act III, scene I, Polonius comes up with a plan to have Ophelia walk around the lobby of the castle until she encounters Hamlet walking by. Ophelia is being used as bait to try to find out if Hamlet's love-sickness for her is real. She gives in immediately to her father and doesn't question him at all showing her lack of freewill, a characteristic that was not uncommon with women of the time. When she finally comes across Hamlet and starts talking to him, Polonius and Claudius, while spying on them behind some curtains, listen to their every word. Ophelia says that she is willing to return the love Hamlet displayed to her, but he goes off ranting about how he never loved her at all. He continues to go on to degrade and pick apart women. Even after
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