Account for his reactions. By comparing Hamlet’s reaction to the arrival of Rosencrantz andGuildensternwith his reaction to the arrival of the Players, we can observethe different perspectives of Hamlet’s character. His reaction to the arrival ofhis old friends is similar to his reaction to the arrival of the Players in ashe is happy to see them all and he reveals his sanity to them all. WhenRosencrantz and Guildenstern arrive, Hamlet is overjoyed to see his “excellentgood friends” (2. 2. 227) with whom he grew up.
Hamlet is also delighted to meetwith the Players. But this is where all the similarities end. In hisconversations with Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, Hamlet becomes suspicious ofthe purpose of his old friends’ visit and he is perceptive enough to see throughthe outer disguise into the interior motives. He forces them to reveal that theyhave been sent by the King to find out what is causing Hamlet’s “transformation”( 2. 2. 5).
Hamlet admits his sanity by telling his good friends that his “uncle-father and aunt mother are deceived. ” (2. 2. 348) Why does Hamlet admit hissanity to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern? Is it an another attempt to at deception,or is it to implant a sense of trust between Hamlet and his old friends? Hamletcould possibly be furthering his plans for revenge by admitting his sanity. Hamlet’s friends would relay the message to the King and Claudius may think thatHamlet really is mad for admitting that he was supposedly feigning madness. Onthe other hand, at the conversation with the Players, his behavior isspontaneous.
He welcomes his “good friends” (2. 2. 431) and it seems that he is”glad” (2. 2.
430) to see them again. He is friendly, funny and very open in hiscommunication with the Players. Hamlet notices that one of the young players whoplays female roles has grown a beard and he makes a joke about it. It alsoindicates that Hamlet has known them for a long time.
The young Prince Hamletalso demonstrates his sanity when meeting with the Players. Hamlet shows that heis still capable of reasonable thought when he recites the lines to a play thathe has heard only once. Hamlet reestablishes his friendship with the Players andshows his sanity to the Players so that he can further his plan for revenge. Hamlet outlines his plan for verification of foul play in his final soliloquy ofthe scene:I’ll have these playersPlay something like the murder of my fatherBefore mine uncle. I’ll observe his looks,I’ll tent him to the quick.
If a do blench,I know my course. (2. 2. 606-610)Hamlet knows that the players can be trusted and therefore he is willing to usetheir service to find out the truth of his father murder. Shakespeare has shownus a variety of emotions and different aspects of Hamlet by comparing with hisreactions to the arrival of his old friends to his reaction to the arrival ofthe Players. In doing so, we are able to see the world through the eyes ofHamlet and able to appreciate the strengths in the character and understand hisweaknesses.
After all, Hamlet is not an one-sided character. Shakespeare hascreated a complex character who is capable of different shades of emotions andfeelings like us.aEnglish