Yet one must take intoconsideration the careful planning of the ghost’s credibility earlier in the play.
This is the first glimpse of Hamlet’s ability and inclination to manipulate his behavior to achieve effect.
Hamlet’s affection for Ophelia has already been established in , and his complete rejection of her and what hastranspired between them is clearly a hoax.
Hamlet somehow suspects the eavesdroppers, just as he guesses that Guildenstern and Rosencrantz are sent by the King and Queen to question him and investigate the cause of his supposed madness in
Clearly Hamlet is not feeling cheerful at this moment, but if helets the guards know the severity of the news, they might suspect its nature.
Another instance of Hamlet’s behavior manipulation is his meeting with Ophelia while hisuncle and Polonius are hiding behind a curtain.
If Hamlet were to see his father’s ghost in private, the argument for hismadness would greatly improve.
Yet, not one, but three men together witness the ghost before even thinking to notify Hamlet.
That Hamlet speaks to the ghost alone detracts somewhat from its credibility, but all the men are witness to the ghost demanding they speak alone.
What if it tempts you toward the flood, my lord, Or to the dreadful summit of the cliff That beetles o’er his base into the sea, And there assume some other horrible form Which might deprive your sovereignty of reason, And draw you into madness? (69-74)Horatio’s comment may be where Hamlet gets the idea to use a plea of insanity to work out his plan.