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Home :: Archive :: 2000 :: May ::
Hamlet Act 4 Question
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.1094  Thursday, 25 May 2000.

From:           Joe Conlon <
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Date:           Wednesday, 24 May 2000 15:42:36 -0500
Subject:        Hamlet Act 4 Question

I teach an elective course in Shakespeare at the secondary level and we
are presently studying Hamlet.  One of my students came up with an
interesting question today that I'd like some help with.  In act four
scene two Hamlet is conversing with Rosencrantz and Guildenstern about
the location of the body of Polonius which Hamlet has hidden.  At (IV,
ii, 25) Rosencrantz says

R:  My lord, you must tell us where the body is and go with us to the
King.

H:  The body is with the King, but the King is not with the body.  The
King is a thing --

G:  A "thing", my lord?

H:  Of nothing.  Bring me to him.  Hide fox, and all after.

Both the student and I think there is some marvelous punning going on
here or perhaps something else with some hidden meaning is being said
that we just aren't catching.

Obviously the "Hide fox and all after" is in some way referring to a fox
hunt but who is the fox?  Polonius' body?

What about the body / king  line?

Can anybody help explain these lines ?

Thanks,
Joe Conlon
Warsaw, IN USA
 

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