• Enter CLAUDIUS, GERTRUDE, POLONIUS, OPHELIA, ROSENCRANTZ, and GUILDENSTERN

    CLAUDIUS

    And can you by no drift of conference
    Get from him why he puts on this confusion,
    Grating so harshly all his days of quiet
    With turbulent and dangerous lunacy?

    ROSENCRANTZ

    5He does confess he feels himself distracted.
    But from what cause he will by no means speak.

    GUILDENSTERN

    Nor do we find him forward to be sounded.
    But with a crafty madness keeps aloof
    When we would bring him on to some confession
    10Of his true state.

    GERTRUDE

      Did he receive you well?

    ROSENCRANTZ

    Most like a gentleman.

    GUILDENSTERN

    But with much forcing of his disposition.

    ROSENCRANTZ

    Niggard of question, but of our demands
    Most free in his reply.

    GERTRUDE

        Did you assay him?
    15To any pastime?

    ROSENCRANTZ

    Madam, it so fell out, that certain players
    We o'erraught on the way. Of these we told him,
    And there did seem in him a kind of joy
  • CLAUDIUS, GERTRUDE, POLONIUS, OPHELIA, ROSENCRANTZ, and GUILDENSTERN enter.

    CLAUDIUS

    And you can’t put your heads together and figure out why he’s acting so dazed and confused, ruining his peace and quiet with such dangerous displays of lunacy?

    ROSENCRANTZ

    He admits he feels confused, but refuses to say why.

    GUILDENSTERN

    And he’s not exactly eager to be interrogated. He’s very sly and dances around our questions when we try to get him to talk about how he feels.

    GERTRUDE

    Did he treat you well when you saw him?

    ROSENCRANTZ

    Yes, in a very gentlemanly way.

    GUILDENSTERN

    But it seemed like he had to force himself to be nice to us.

    ROSENCRANTZ

    He didn’t ask questions, but answered ours at length.

    GERTRUDE

    Did you try tempting him with some entertainment?

    ROSENCRANTZ

    Madam, some actors happened to cross our paths on the way here. We told Hamlet about them, and that seemed to do him good.