Hamlet - Act 4 Summary


I have been questioned over and over again, in many different ways by these to 'friends', Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, about the placement of Polonius. I plan on never telling them this, for they need not know. They are only pretending to be my friends now, as the king has been sending them on information journeys to me. Now, I will speak to the king, Claudius, as he requests.

Once again, I am questioned about the place of the dead Polonius. This time it is the king though. I don't want to tell him, yet I finally decide to hint to him. I say his body can be found, "up the stairs into the lobby." Claudius then tells me that I am to be sent to England immediately. I continue to fool him with my 'mad' routine and then leave.

Now, being escorted by Guildenstern and Rosencrantz, I learn that Fortinbras is planning to fight the Poles over some land that is completely invaluable. Later, after some thought, I conclude that he is fighting more for honor than anything else, something I have forgotten completely in myself. Now, I realize that I MUST finish what I have barely started. I must kill Claudius and will allow no other thoughts then the death of him to enter my mind, or I will be wasting my life.

Pirates attacked the ship headed for England that I was aboard and I told them that if they took me back to Denmark, I would do 'good' for them. I have written 3 letters; one to Horatio, one to Gertrude, and one to the king as well. In the letter to Horatio, I have explained what has happened and requested that he deliver the 2 letters to the king and queen. The Kings letter tells of my return to Demark and all that has happened.