In Act 4, Scene 7, what is one or more reasons Claudius may have to not punish Hamlet for killing Polonius, that he does not express?the two reasons in the book were Queen loves Hamlet and people...

In Act 4, Scene 7, what is one or more reasons Claudius may have to not punish Hamlet for killing Polonius, that he does not express?

the two reasons in the book were Queen loves Hamlet and people love Hamlet.........but i m sure he has another reason.....help me <(^_^)>

Expert Answers
luannw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Claudius knows that Hamlet suspects what really happened to King Hamlet.  The play in Act 3, sc. 2, demonstrated that. He knows that it is important that he get rid of Hamlet, yet keep his own hands clean because, as he says, the people love Hamlet. He tells Laertes in Act 4, sc. 7, that he must deal carefully with Hamlet for this reason lest anything he does to Hamlet comes back to hurt him.  His plan, as he put it to the public was to send Hamlet off to England on a diplomatic mission.  He told Gertrude he was sending Hamlet to England to get him out of the country until the heat died down from Polonius' death.  What he really planned was for the English authorities to put Hamlet to death according to sealed orders Hamlet was delivering to the English court.  When Hamlet thwarted those plans and returned unexpectedly to Denmark, Claudius was forced to come up with a new plan that would get rid of Hamlet, yet keep his own hands blood-free. He told Laertes to challenge Hamlet to a duel with a pointed sword, instead of a blunted sword, and then give Hamlet poisoned wine.  Claudius's third reason for not punishing Hamlet for killing Polonius is that he thought he had gotten rid of Hamlet and so "punishment" in a formal sense, was unnecessary.

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Hamlet

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