The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.1117 Tuesday, 30 May 2000.
Date: Monday, 29 May 2000 14:11:10 -0500
Subject: 11.1108 Hamlet Act 4 Question
Comment: RE: SHK 11.1108 Hamlet Act 4 Question
I had always thought the line "The body is with the King, but the King
is not with the body" was one of the ever-equivocating Hamlet's
quibbles. The body is with the king (my father) who is also among the
dead), but the king who sent you (Claudius) is not with the body (or
else he could not have sent you for it). Nor is the king who sent you
really a king, but a "thing of nothing."
I too take "hide fox, and all after" to be an allusion to the game
commonly known as fox and hounds (sometimes hare and hounds) where one
child is given a head start and then all his or her companions give
chase. Hamlet is baiting R&C as he rushes offstage to give them the