This lesson/activity really encourages to students to think about many possibilities/interpretations regarding this very famous scene. Hamlet and Ophelia are speaking, and we know that Claudius and Polonius are eavesdropping. We also know that Ophelia knows this. The question is: Does Hamlet know???
If he doesn't know, why is he being so cruel to Ophelia? Is he trying to protect her? Is he actually just a jerk?
If he does know, why is he being so cruel? Are some words meant as a warning to Ophelia, and are some words meant to be overheard? After all, he does speak of revenge!
The possibilities are endless, and if you allow your class to go with it, you may just be amazed.
If you have the time, get your students to stage each version!