What qualities of a) Claudius, b) Laertes, c) Gertrude are brought out in this scene (VI), Act IV?   `

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

None of the characters you ask about appear in Act 4.6 of Shakespeare's Hamlet, so I assume you mean scene seven.

Claudius is shown to be a capable but underhanded ruler.  He is able to manipulate Laertes and he also devises a plan to kill Hamlet.  He is revealed to be smart enough to know that Hamlet's death must be made to look like an accident, as well.  He is savvy and subtle, but also treacherous.

Laertes is a bit gullible, but mostly he just believes Hamlet killed his father, which he did, and is set on revenge.  He, too, though, is not above deception and treachery.  When Claudius forms the plan for the dual, he only plans that Laertes's sword be without a protective tip while Hamlet's tip will be covered.  But Laertes suggests poisoning the tip as well.

Finally, Gertrude is shown to have sympathy for Ophelia.  She comes to Laertes to tell him of Ophelia's death.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial