Act 2 Scene 1 of Hamlet is essentially divided into two halves. The short scene begins with Polonius, Ophelia's father, who asks his servant, Reynaldo to check up on Laertes in Paris. Then, he encounters a distraught Ophelia, who retells an encounter she had with a "mad" Hamlet.
Act 2 opens in a room in Polonius' house, a month or two after Hamlet has seen his father's ghost. The passage “A room in Polonius’ house,” which describes the stage’s setting. Polonius is making arrangements to send his servant, Reynaldo, to Paris to spy on Laertes. Polonius justifies his actions by arguing that he is only concerned for the well-being of his son, so far away from home. The frightened Ophelia rushes into the room to tell her father that Hamlet came to see her while she was sewing, and that it had been a terrifying experience.
Polonius at once assumes that the loss of Ophelia's affections has driven Hamlet insane. He expresses regret that he ever asked his daughter to behave so heartlessly toward the love-sick prince, and he decides the King must know that Hamlet has gone mad.
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