Hamlet Act 3, Scene 1
Polonius and Claudius arrange to secretly watch a meeting between Hamlet and Ophelia. When they meet, Hamlet denies any affection for her which further confuses Polonius and Claudius. They decide that either Gertrude can get to the root of Hamlet’s “madness” or he will be sent to England.
Hamlet Act 3, Scene 2
Hamlet directs the actors in a play to depict his father’s murder – he hopes to study Claudius’ reaction to this. Claudius and Gertrude leave during the performance. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern inform Hamlet that Gertrude wants to speak to him.
Hamlet Act 3, Scene 3
Polonius arranges to secretly listen to the conversation between Hamlet and Gertrude. When alone, Claudius speaks of his conscience and guilt. Hamlet enters from behind and draws his sword to kill Claudius but decides that it would be wrong to kill a man while praying.
Hamlet Act 3, Scene 4
Hamlet is about reveal Claudius’ villainy to Gertrude when he hears someone behind the curtain. Hamlet thinks it is Claudius and thrusts his sword through the arras – he has killed Polonius. Hamlet reveals all and speaks to the ghost. Gertrude, who cannot see the apparition, is now convinced of Hamlet’s madness.