Hamlet Act Iv Summaries and Laertes Analysis
Hamlet Act IV Scene 1 Summary:After Gertrude’s conversation with Hamlet, Gertrude is startled and worried, so she goes to Claudius while he is speaking to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. After Rosencrantz and Guildenstern leave, Claudius asks Gertrude how Hamlet was, and Gertrude replies that he is as “Mad as the sea and wind when both contend/ Which is the mightier” (IV. 1.
7-8). Gertrude then tells Claudius that Hamlet has killed Polonius, and Claudius notes that if it had been him behind the curtains, Hamlet would have killed him.
Claudius then tells Gertrude that they must send Hamlet to England right away and find a way to explain Hamlet’s act. He then calls for Rosencrantz and Guildenstern again and tells them about the murder and tells them to find Hamlet. Hamlet Act IV Scene 2 Summary:In Act IV Scene 2, Hamlet has just disposed of Polonius’s body. Shortly after, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern enter and ask Hamlet what he has done with the body. They tell him that they want to bury him in the chapel. Hamlet refuses to answer them and instead accuses them of being spies for Claudius.
Finally, Hamlet agrees to go with Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to Claudius. Hamlet Act IV Scene 3 Summary: In Act IV Scene 3, Claudius speaks to a group of two or three other people about the murder of Polonius and how he plans to send Hamlet to England because he is too dangerous. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern then enter with Hamlet, who says that Polonius is at a supper in which he is being eaten by worms. Finally, Hamlet admits that Polonius’s body is under the stairs in the lobby, so Claudius tells his attendants to go find the body.
The King then tells Hamlet that he must leave for England immediately, and Hamlet, pleased, leaves. When Claudius is alone, he says that he hopes that England will put Hamlet to death. Grace Miao Ms. Gordon European Literature 18th November, 2012 Hamlet Act IV Scene 4 Summary: In Act IV Scene 4, Fortinbras leads his army to Poland. He tells the Captain to go ask the Danish King if they may travel through Denmark safely. On the way to the King Claudius, the Captain meets Hamlet, Rosencrantz, and Guildenstern. Hamlet asks what the army is doing and who it belongs to.
The Captain replies that the army belongs to Prince Fortinbras of Norway and that they are heading to Poland to attack the Poles. When Hamlet asked what the purpose of the attack is, the Captain replied that it was over “a little patch of ground/ That hath in it no profit but the name” (IV. 4. 19-20). Hamlet becomes shocked that a battle could be fought over something so insignificant and notes that his revenge on Claudius gives him more to gain than Fortinbras would gain from the land. Hamlet becomes angry with himself for giving up on his revenge and declares that his thoughts will be bloody or else they will be worth nothing.
Hamlet Act IV Scene 5 Summary:In Act IV Scene 5, Gertrude says to a gentleman and Horatio that she does not wish to speak to Ophelia; however, Horatio tells her that Ophelia should be pitied because her grief has made her mad, so Gertrude finally agrees. When Ophelia enters, she is singing. When Claudius enters, he says that Ophelia’s grief is caused by the death of her father and that many other people have been disturbed and suspicious of Polonius’s death. He also says that Laertes has sailed back to Denmark secretly. Laertes then enters with a mob of people who call him lord and say that he will be king.
Laertes is furious and exclaims that he will avenge his father’s death. When Ophelia, still mad, enters again, Laertes becomes furious again. Claudius tries to calm Laertes down and tells him that he did not kill Polonius and that Laertes should take revenge on the correct person. Claudius then manages to convince Laertes to listen to his version ceof Polonius’s death. Grace Miao Ms. Gordon European Literature 18th November, 2012 Laertes’ Character Analysis Act IV Scene 5 1. In order for an actor to understand Laertes better in Act IV Scene 5, the actor must understand how Laertes acts as a foil for Hamlet.
In this scene Laertes, like Hamlet, has a father’s death to avenge. The difference, however, is that Laertes is active and does not think deeply about the method whereas Hamlet was passive and a man of thought. (IV. 5. 151-154). 2. Laertes’ motivation and objective in this scene is to avenge his father’s death by murdering whoever killed Polonius because he is furious over his father’s death and Ophelia’s insane state of mind. (IV. 5. 237-242). 3. Laertes is furious that his father has been murdered. (IV. 5. 151-154). He is also extremely angry over the fact that Ophelia has gone mad because of grief. (IV. 5. 78-187). 4. When Laertes storms in demanding for his father, Claudius attempts to calm him down by replying that Polonius is dead. (IV. 5. 145). Gertrude tries to soothe Laertes by replying that Claudius did not kill him. (IV. 5. 146). 5. Laertes affects the events in Act IV Scene 5 by setting the play up for the scene in which most of the action will take place. He is prepared to murder whoever killed his father and made his sister insane. (IV. 5. 237-242). He is affected by the events of the scene because he is told that his father is dead and then sees his sister wander in acting mad. This makes him furious. . Laertes acts as a foil to Hamlet in this scene because both have a father’s death to avenge; however, Laertes is a man of action while Hamlet is a man of thought. The second Laertes realized that his father was dead, he becomes furious and vows to take bloody revenge. Hamlet, on the other hand, was passive and depressed after he realized that his father was dead. It also took Hamlet a lot longer to be ready to take revenge. (IV. 5. 151-154). 7. When we saw Laertes last, he was calmer. Laertes has changed in that in this scene, he is angry over the death of his father and the insane state of mind of his sister. IV. 5. 149-151). This change helps set the action of the play in motion because Laertes is planning to take revenge for his father’s death. 8. This act makes me wonder how Laertes will react when he realizes that it was Hamlet who murdered his father because earlier in the play, Laertes told Ophelia to be careful of Hamlet. In this act, Hamlet also indirectly made Ophelia go mad because of grief, so Laertes may react stronger because it was Hamlet’s doing. 9. When Laertes says, “To hell, allegiance! Vows, to the blackest devil! / Conscience and grace, to the profoundest pit! I dare damnation.
To this point I stand,/ That both the worlds I give to negligence,/ Let come what comes, only I’ll be revenged/ Most throughly for my father” (IV. 5. 149-154), it demonstrates the difference between Laertes and Hamlet because this line accentuates how Laertes is a man of action. Immediately, Laertes declares that he will avenge his father’s murder while Hamlet went through a long period of depression before he finally decided to take action. Grace Miao Ms. Gordon European Literature 19th November, 2012 Hamlet Act IV Scene 6 Summary: In Act IV Scene 6, Horatio meets two sailors who were entrusted with a letter from Hamlet.
In the letter, Hamlet writes that his ship has been captured by pirates who then brought him back to Denmark. Hamlet then tells Horatio to escort the sailors to the King and Queen because they have messages for them as well. He then says that he has a lot to tell Horatio about Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. After reading the letter, Horatio brings the sailors to Claudius and then goes with them to find Hamlet, who is revealed to be in the countryside near the castle. Hamlet Act IV Scene 7 Summary:In Act IV Scene 7, Claudius and Laertes discuss Polonius’s murder. Claudius tells Laertes that Claudius simply buried Polonius secretly.
He then explains to Laertes that he did not punish Hamlet for the murder because Gertrude and the citizens like Hamlet, and he does not wish to upset them as King. A messenger then enters to give Claudius a letter from Hamlet that stated that Hamlet was returning to Denmark. Claudius and Laertes then begin planning Laertes’s revenge for his father’s death. Claudius remembers how Hamlet had been jealous of Laertes’s sword skills, so he tells Laertes to challenge Hamlet to a duel. During the duel, Laertes will use a sharpened sword rather than the traditional dull sword.
Laertes is also going to put poison at the end of the sword so that a single scratch from it would kill Hamlet. Claudius then comes up with a back-up plan in which if Hamlet wins, Claudius will give Hamlet a goblet of poisoned wine to celebrate. After this, Gertrude enters and tells them that Ophelia has drowned in a river due to her insane state of mind. Grace Miao Mrs. Gordon European Literature 24th November, 2012 Laertes’s Character Analysis Act IV Scene 7 1. In order for an actor to understand Laertes better, he must understand the anger that Laertes feels towards Hamlet for murdering his father.
Because of this, the actor must understand how Laertes felt extremely happy to hear that Hamlet was returning home. (IV. 7. 60-63). He must also understand the grief and rage that must have been going through Laertes when he was told that Ophelia had drowned in a river due to her grief. (IV. 7. 211-217). 2. In Act IV Scene 7, Laertes’s objective is to murder Hamlet. Throughout most of the scene, Laertes was plotting his revenge with Claudius. The motivation behind his objective is the death of his father. He wishes to take revenge on whoever murdered his father and caused his sister to go mad. IV. 7. 159-168). 3. Laertes feels extremely happy that Hamlet is returning to Denmark because it allows him to take his revenge for his father earlier. (IV. 7. 60-63). When he finds out that his sister drowned in a river due to grief, however, he becomes saddened and angry again, and possibly even more intent on taking revenge than before. (IV. 7. 159-168). 4. Claudius treats Laertes carefully and helps Laertes plot his revenge because he also wants to kill Hamlet. He suggests that Laertes tempt Hamlet into a sword duel, thus providing Laertes a chance to kill Hamlet.
He also prepares a backup plan in which he will poison a cup of wine in case Hamlet wins. (IV. 7. 108-120). Laertes appears to have on particular feeling towards Claudius, but he feels extremely angry towards Hamlet and is happy that Hamlet is returning early because he can now take revenge earlier than previously planned. (IV. 7. 60-63). 5. Laertes plans his revenge for his father’s death in this scene. This helps build up most of the action that will take place in the next act. This also prepares many of the other characters for their deaths.
Laertes is affected by events in this scene because Hamlet’s arrival to Denmark helps set his plan in motion earlier than planned. (IV. 7. 60-63). Ophelia’s death also increases his anger towards Hamlet and motivation for revenge. (IV. 7. 211-217). 6. This scene helps portray Laertes as a foil for Hamlet because it took Hamlet an extremely long time to be ready to take revenge for his father’s death, whereas Laertes was ready to kill Hamlet even without a true plan. Laertes was so willing to kill Hamlet whenever possible that he was even willing to kill Hamlet in church. (IV. 7. 143). 7.
There was not a significant change in Laretes in this scene as compared to scene 5 because in both scenes, Laertes’ was extremely angry over his father’s death. In this scene, however, Laertes found out who killed his father and is now ready to take revenge. Also, Laertes is further saddened in this scene due to Ophelia’s death. (IV. 7. 211-217). 8. This act makes me wonder if Laertes will react even stronger towards Hamlet because Hamlet indirectly caused Ophelia’s death as well. (IV. 7. 211-217). I also wonder how Laertes feels about Claudius’s willingness to help him plot out his revenge.
I wonder if Laertes feels suspicious about it at all or if he is blinded by his anger and need for revenge. 9. When Laertes answered Claudius’s question of how he plans to kill Hamlet by saying, “To cut his throat i’ th’ church” (IV. 7. 144), it is revealed how Laertes is truly a man of action as compared to Hamlet because Laertes is so furious over his father’s death that he is willing to kill Hamlet in such a sacred place. This supports the idea that Laertes is a foil for Hamlet because Hamlet went through a stage of depression before he was ready to plan his revenge.
Another line that further supports the idea of Laertes acting as a foil for Hamlet is when Laertes says, “I am lost in it, my lord. But let him come. / It warms the very sickness in my heart/ That I [shall] live and tell him to his teeth/ “Thus didst thou” (IV. 7. 60-63). By saying this, Laertes is desplaying his happiness over the fact that Hamlet is returning early. This shows that Laertes is a man of action, not a man of thought, because he simply cares about the fact that he gets to complete his revenge earlier than originally planned.