Hamlet Act II

Act 2 - The Hide and Seek Act or Everybody Lies

Okay...This is self indulgent. I just couldn't help myself.

"Everybody Knows" by Concrete Blond

Survey of Act II -Corruption

Hamlet Act 2 Scene 2 Various Interpretations

Why does power cause corruption? In the Hide and Seek Act, we can see that everyone is cheating, lying, and stealing (the throne) within the courts of Elsinore. Power leads to corruption because the world isn't fair, and a certain amount of corruption is necessary to gain or maintain power. At least that's what it seems in Hamlet.

Do you believe this is true in real life?

Look at the following characters through the act and see how they do this:

Polonius - What truth is he hiding? What truth is he seeking? Laertes? Hamlet?

Polonius is spying on his son in France, and he is entering into surveillance of Hamlet in order to discern whether his madness relates to his daughter. Hoping to be the father of the future queen?

Ophelia - What truth is she hiding? What truth is she seeking about Hamlet?

Ophelia has gone into her father's confidence and has agreed to allow him (Polonius) to try and seek out whether or not Hamlet is in love with her. As I mentioned, later she will take part in a greater deception to spy on her beloved.

Hamlet -What truth is he hiding? What truth is he seeking about the death of his father?

Hamlet is looking to see if Claudius is guilty of murder or if the ghost is a demon in disguise. He is hiding his plots and plans and pretending to be crazy (we think).

Claudius/Gertrude -What truth are they hiding? What truths are they seeking about Hamlet?

Claudius is hiding his guilt and his spying on his son through R&G and Polonius. He is trying to discern why Hamlet is acting crazy - Is he really crazy, or is there a method to his madness?

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern - What truths are they hiding? What truths are they seeking?

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are hiding the fact that they were sent for by the queen and king (eventually they admit it) and that they have been asked to find out why Hamlet is acting so melancholy/crazy.