Does Gertrude tell Claudius the truth about what happened between her and Hamlet? Is she following Hamlet's advice at the end of act 3, scene 4?

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In act IV, scene 1, Gertrude and Polonius have a private conference about what Hamlet has done in killing Polonius. Here, Gertrude does keep her promise to Hamlet not to reveal the content of his conversation to her husband. She knows, however, that she has to provide some explanation...

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In act IV, scene 1, Gertrude and Polonius have a private conference about what Hamlet has done in killing Polonius. Here, Gertrude does keep her promise to Hamlet not to reveal the content of his conversation to her husband. She knows, however, that she has to provide some explanation for Hamlet's conduct in murdering Polonius, and therefore, she concentrates on Hamlet's "madness," which, to her mind, was evident when he started crying out and talking about seeing a ghost. She says to Claudius:
Mad as the sea and wind when both contend
Which is the mightier. In his lawless fit,
Behind the arras hearing something stir,
Whips out his rapier, cries, “A rat, a rat!”
And in this brainish apprehension kills
The unseen good old man
She does her best to cover for Hamlet and blames his murdering solely on his being out of his mind at the moment. Although she must know that Hamlet used the word "rat" to mean a traitor, she makes it sounds as if he were literally trying to kill a rat he heard rustling around. She also tries to put the best possible spin on events by saying Hamlet is remorseful, which is not entirely true. She says:

He weeps for what is done.

However, although Hamlet has made her feel guilty for her marriage of convenience with Claudius and demands she no longer share his bed, she nevertheless stays with Claudius through the rest of the play.

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At the end of Act 3, Hamlet advises his mother to "by no means...let the bloat king tempt you again to bed" (III.iv.181-2) again, and to keep quiet about what they have spoken of that evening.  The queen promises that "I have no life to breathe what thou hast said to me," (III.iv.198) indicating that she will keep quiet.  And she does, for the most part, keep that promise.  She doesn't say anything about Hamlet's incensed ranting regarding her and her hasty marriage and hasty turning toward Claudius in her bed or in her heart.  We don't know if she keeps the first promise, about never going to his bed again, but we can only assume that she doesn't; she remains with the king, and seems to be happy with him throughout the rest of the play.  She does reveal that it was Hamlet who killed Polonius, but about the other things, she keeps quiet.  She mentions that Hamlet "weeps for what is done" to Polonius, and that he went to "draw apart the body he hath kill'd" (IV.i.24-27), which sends the King off on a hunt for the body of Polonius.

I hope that those thoughts help a bit; good luck!

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