Hamlets Wits & Puns

511 Words3 Pages
Act IV, scene III is very hard to interpret because there could be so many ways that one person could take it. I think that Hamlet is "mad" to an extent but that more of it is a show that he puts on and is using some of these characters as his puppets. His mockery and wit seem to go over all of their heads and he is completely amused by that. Hamlet's character is much more wise than one is lead to believe and in this scene I think he shows part of his mastery. We start off with the King sending people to find both Hamlet and the body of Polonius. He cannot prosecute Hamlet under the law because "He's loved of the distracted multitude" (4.3, 4) He also must figure out a way for the trip to England to appear useful, trusted and must take careful consideration on how it is done. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are closing in on Hamlet's and we can hear them shouting "Hamlet! Lord Hamlet." Once they find him they tell him that they want to take the body to the chapel. Hamlet replies, "Do not believe it," and when Rosencrantz asks "Believe what?" Hamlet answers, "That I can keep your counsel and not mine own" (4.2, 12) This is a little odd and seems to come across as saying that Hamlet can keep their secret but he does not feel that they will keep his. His secret is where he has hidden Polonius, but what's their secret? After this, Hamlet insults Rosencrantz. He tells him that "that soaks up the King's countenance...when he needs what you have...squeezing you, sponge, you shall be dry again." (4.2, 15-21 basically he is a "sponge," and that although he's now soaking up the King's favors, when the King is done with him, he'll squeeze him dry. Rosencrantz replies that he doesn't understand, but he's probably lying, because Hamlet's message is quite clear. Hamlet has been insulting Rosencrantz and Guildenstern ever since he found out that they were working for the King, and Rosencrantz figures that it is just best to let Hamlet say what he says and leave it at that. Finally, Hamlet appears to calm down, saying "bring me to him," but he's just fooling. He suddenly turns and runs, saying "Hide fox, and all after," as if they were children playing hide-and-seek.
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