Hamlet Questions and Answers
by William Shakespeare

Hamlet book cover
Start Your Free Trial

What is the purpose of the brief scene iv in act IV of Hamlet?  

Expert Answers info

David Morrison eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2017

write11,856 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Law and Politics

Act IV, scene iv, in Hamlet highlights once more Hamlet's vacillation in gaining revenge on Claudius for the murder of his father. The sight of all those Norwegian soldiers heading off to risk their necks over a worthless piece of land in a far-off country shames Hamlet, making him feel like a complete coward for not having already settled accounts with his hated uncle.

But Hamlet's able to turn his sense of shame into a resolution to do what needs to be done. He's determined that there's no more time to waste; the death of his father must be avenged as soon as possible. From now on, his thoughts will be "bloody, or be nothing worth." In that sense, this scene is important as it shows a new sense of urgency taking root in Hamlet's tortured...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 397 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

sfwriter eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2008

write294 answers

starTop subject is Literature

check Approved by eNotes Editorial