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Hamlet Act IV, Scene iv Summary

  • Hamlet is on his way to England. More specifically, he's on the Danish coast near the Danish castle.
  • And what does he see but the armies of Prince Fortinbras of Norway, who it seems has decided to wage war with Poland instead of with Denmark.
  • What's the cause? It's a huge conflict being waged over a tiny, unimportant piece of territory.
  • Hamlet thinks this is a little petty, but he concludes that, if Fortinbras can lead 20,000 men to their death over a little patch of land, then he should be able to rain vengeance upon the man who has killed his father and "stained" his mother.
  • Right?
  • He swears to follow Fortinbras's example, stop delaying and finally carry out his revenge.
  • Suuuuuuuure he will.

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