Cite This Page
Hamlet Act IV, Scene iii Summary Page 1
- Now it's Claudius's turn to demand that Hamlet tell him where Polonius's corpse is.
- Hamlet responds with morbid jokes, pointing out that Polonius is at "supper" —that is, he's being eaten by worms for dinner. Charming.
- Hamlet, again speaking in the veiled terms of seeming madness, describes the cycle of life, where a worm can eat a king, a fish can eat that worm, and a man can eat that fish, thus eating a king, who inevitably passes through the digestive system of another man.
- Basically, Hamlet calls Claudius a piece of poo.
- And, anyway, the whole "find the body" game will be a lot simpler once Polonius's corpse begins to leave a reeking scent trail.
- After Hamlet hints that the body is in the stairs leading to the lobby, Claudius sends the attendants off to find it.
- And he tells Hamlet that he's being shipped off to England with Rosencrantz and Guildenstern for his own good, and also as a princely time-out for having caused so much trouble.
- Claudius, left alone, reveals that he has arranged to have Hamlet killed once he reaches England.
- Cue the evil laugh.