Hamlet act 4

Hamlet act 4

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  • Act 4 Scene 1
  • Hamlet has gone mad! He killed Claudius 
  • Act 4 Scene 2
  • Sharing information from sponges from the court is beneath me 
  • Act 4 Scene 3
  • Where is Polonius??
  • Claudius deplores Hamlet's violence, but he blames himself for not having been sterner with Hamlet from the beginning. He worries what he will tell his subjects; Gertrude tells him that Hamlet is contrite and has promised to dispose of the body. The King resolves to banish Hamlet quickly and calls to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. 
  • Act 4 Scene 4
  •  "What is a man / If his chief good and market of his time / Be but to sleep and feed?
  • When Rosencrantz and Guildenstern finally find the Prince and ask him for Polonius, he bewilders them with answers that seem to be riddles. 
  • Act 4 Scene 5
  •  Hamlet engages in yet another word play with Claudius, taunting him with images of rotting flesh and the corruption of death. He pointedly tells Claudius that just as a fisherman eats a fish that has eaten a worm that was in the grave eating at a king, every man can progress through the guts of beggar.
  • Act 4 Scenes 6 & 7
  • I will honor my father so I accept the offer
  • Hamlet lingers behind Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to reflect on the fact that these Norwegians and Poles are willing to die over land worth virtually nothing to anyone. They have left their homes and committed themselves to a principle no more substantive than an eggshell. 
  • Ophelia distributes flowers to the assembled people, and exits. Laertes, distraught over his sister's condition, finally pays complete attention to what Claudius has to say. The King promises Laertes satisfaction in avenging Polonius' death.
  • young maid's wits" are as fragile and "as mortal as an old man's life.
  • Claudius promises to arrange a fencing match between Laertes and Hamlet. Hamlet will use a fencing foil, but Laertes' foil will have an unblunted point. Thus, Laertes can kill Hamlet in front of an audience, and it will appear to be an accident; no one will know it is murder. 
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