What moments portray coincidence in act 4, scenes 5, 6, and 7 of Hamlet, and what effect do the coincidences have on the plot of the play?

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It certainly seems like a big coincidence that the ship Hamlet was sailing to England on was attacked by pirates. Then, during the fight between the sailors on Hamlet 's ship and the men on the pirate ship, Hamlet is the only person from his ship to board the other...

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It certainly seems like a big coincidence that the ship Hamlet was sailing to England on was attacked by pirates. Then, during the fight between the sailors on Hamlet's ship and the men on the pirate ship, Hamlet is the only person from his ship to board the other one. Then, at just that very moment, the pirate ship "got clear" of Hamlet's ship, and he "alone became their prisoner." Of all the people involved in the conflict between the crews, Hamlet, the Prince of Denmark, is the only individual to end up on the wrong ship. We learn all of this from the letter that Hamlet somehow manages to get to Horatio without being seen or identified by anyone.

These help to forward the play's plot for a few reasons. First, these coincidences get Hamlet home to Denmark so that he can continue his revenge plot against Claudius. Second, they get rid of the problematic Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, who have become unwitting spies for Claudius are are no longer trusted by Hamlet. Third, they pave the way for Horatio and Hamlet to meet up in the cemetery just as Ophelia, Hamlet's former lover, is being buried. When he becomes cognizant of her burial, he makes his physical presence known to everyone in attendance. This aggression eventually leads to the duel Claudius and Laertes set up between Laertes and Hamlet.

If Hamlet had not escaped his ship bound for England by some method, then the main conflict of the play would have been stalled until his much later return.

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