Polonius urges the Queen to be sharply critical of Hamlet’s actions, and to tell him that she has had to intercede on his behalf, standing “between / Much heat and him.” Polonius then hides behind the wall tapestry as Hamlet enters. Hamlet speaks very directly to his mother, telling her that she has offended his father, and proposes revealing her “innermost part” to her. Gertrude cries out in fear that Hamlet means to murder her, prompting Polonius to call out from behind the curtain. Hamlet, supposing the eavesdropper to be Claudius, thrusts his...
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