For we have closely sent for Hamlet hither, That he, as ‘twere by accident, may here Affront Ophelia.

How in the world could Hamlet not be on to those guys? Claudius summons Hamlet to this spot. When Hamlet turns up, no one’s there. Does the King often summon people to a place where he isn’t going to be? Seems pretty fishy. Then Ophelia just happens to turn up? After Hamlet’s done a pretty bang-up job of setting up his “madness” gambit with Ophelia and playing Polonius like a lunatic violin? Seems like a recipe for suspicion. I find it hard to believe Hamlet doesn’t suspect that Claudius and Polonius are there from the beginning. Might he be looking for them throughout?

He’s probably doing a command performance all the way from the big speech to the nunnery bit. Could the entire nunnery scene be a gambit to bring Polonius out of hiding? In other words, the more abusive he is to Ophelia, the more likely Polonius would be to reveal himself.

Of course, Polonius doesn’t. He stays hidden. Hamlet clearly suspects Claudius of hiding – given the sword he puts through the curtain in the closet scene later. But I imagine they’ve all done their share of lurking. I’d like to see a version of this scene wherein we see Hamlet performing for his audience of spies, when we see him adjust his position to give them a better view, where he asks Ophelia where her father is and she tells him with her eyes while she says, “At home” and Hamlet adjusts their physicality to give Polonius the better view. Kenneth Branagh’s Hamlet does that a little bit. It’s one of my favorite things about that version.


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