Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Hamlet ~ Act IV Scene III

Hamlet  ~~  Act IV  Scene III

No one knows where Hamlet has placed Polonius' body, and Rosencrantz and Guilderstern's efforts at discovery have been fruitless, therefore Claudius calls Hamlet before him.  Hamlet plays with him a little, a cat and mouse type of game, increasing Claudius' horror of his act until he divulges the location. Claudius reveals that he is sending Hamlet to England, and Hamlet receives the information with a calm disinterestedness.  Out of Hamlet's hearing, Claudius urges speed and reveals that he has commissioned the English king to execute Hamlet.  He hopes that the fear of Denmark's past deeds to England will secure this edict.


Ah, Hamlet quite cleverly, advises Claudius to look in Hell for the body of Polonius:

"In heaven.  Send hither to see.  If your messenger find him 
not there, seek him i' th' other place yourself....."

It's quite appalling how Claudius can transform from a dear, doting, sympathetic figure to a cold-blooded murderer.  It's becoming more apparent how he could have disposed of King Hamlet.  He sees the present Hamlet as a disease affecting himself and one that needs to be eradicated.

Hell (1500-04)
Hieronymus Bosch
source Wikiart

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