Hamlet Summary act III
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern give their report on Hamlet to King Claudius. Meanwhile Hamlet organizes his play for the benefits of the King and Queen which include lines written by Him.
Act III immortalizes the play Hamlet in the famous line ‘to be or not to be” as the Prince delivers his famed soliloquy
“To be, or not to be, that is the question…” (act iii, sc I, 56-61)
It is here that Hamlet contemplates the possibility of suicide and the very first line of his famous speech is a question put to himself suggesting that while his circumstances make him feel like dying, it wouldn’t suit his Christian character to commit suicide hence which should he choose.
When Ophelia meets Hamlet, the King and her father Polonius secretly eavesdrop on their conversation. Because of his mistrust of women arising out of his mother’s betrayal, he grows suspicious of Ophelia of spying on him. He suggests that she join a nunnery rather than marry and give birth to sinners. King Claudius realizes that Hamlet’s behavior has nothing to do with love and fearing his own life decides to send Hamlet away to England.
When the play titled “the murder of Gonzago’ is performed, Claudius grows uncomfortable at the theme of the play and stops it abruptly. This gives Hamlet the proof he is looking for that Claudius actually did poison his father, however he feigns ignorance at the offence Claudius has taken from the play. He goes on to have a private conversation with his mother.
Claudius frightened that Hamlet suspects everything falls to his knees and delivers a soliloquy of his own in admittance of his crime fearing the he will be punished by god’s divine justice
“But O, what form of prayer can serve my turn?”Forgive me my foul murder” (act iii, sc iii 52)
Hamlet sees him in prayer and wishes he could kill him but to do so in a moment of repentance would mean his soul would enter heaven, this Hamlet doesn’t want and intends killing him when intoxicated or perhaps when he is in his bed with his mother during a moment of sin. He leaves him and goes to his mother.
When Queen Gertrude attempts top scold Hamlet, he is enraged by her. The frightened Queen screams out in fear which Polonius hiding behind heavy drapes echoes her shout for help. Hamlet thinking it to be the king runs his sword through the drapes killing Polonius. Hamlet does not show any regret and continues scolding the Queen when his Father’s ghost appears and asks him to forgive and spare his mother. When Hamlet tells her to repent and end relations with Claudius, Gertrude agrees and Hamlet departs dragging Polonius body along with him.
Hamlets act of stabbing Polonius and his sense of no regret could well sum up Hamlets beliefs of him being morally obligated to avenge the wrongs caused by Claudius and his followers. Religion is deeply rooted within Hamlets persona and this is what makes him weigh his
materialistic actions against divine judgment. though he realizes the severity of killing Polonius, he is not at all worried about materialistic punishement but the divine to which he remarks,
“I will answer well the death I gave him” (act iii sc iv, 76-77).