Study Guide

Hamlet: Act IV, Scene i Summary

By William Shakespeare

Act IV, Scene i

  • Gertrude tells Claudius that her son is insane and has murdered Polonius. (She keeps quiet, as instructed by her son, about the fact that his madness is an act. Nice work, Gertrude.)
  • Okay, definitely time to get rid of young Hamlet.
  • Gertrude points out that Hamlet is now inspired to cry a little, so maybe the murder of Polonius has done some good by getting Hamlet in touch with his feelings.
  • Claudius tells Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to try to clean up the mess. (They always get the worst jobs.)