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Free MonkeyNotes-Hamlet by William Shakespeare-Free Book Notes Summary
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ACT IV, SCENE 2

Summary

In another room of the castle, Hamlet hides Polonius' body. He then greets Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, who have come in search of him. Once again filled with contempt at the dishonesty of his childhood friends, he refuses to answer their queries. He simply tells them that he has "compounded" the body of Polonius with dust. He then openly derides them as sponges, ready to soak up "the King's countenance, his rewards, his authorities." He warns them that Claudius will squeeze them dry when he no longer needs them. Hamlet does not tell them where he has hidden the dead body, but he does agree to meet the King.


Notes

Primarily, this scene reveals Hamlet's increasing animosity toward Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, his childhood friends whom he believes have deserted him in favor of service to Claudius. He uses deliberately confusing and involved language with them, in order to further persuade them he is mad. He also insults the King in their presence. Structurally, this scene functions as a bridge between the plotting of the King against Hamlet and Hamlet's attempt to murder the King.


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Free MonkeyNotes-Hamlet by William Shakespeare-Free Online Plot Synopsis



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