List iconHamlet:
Act 4, scene 6
List icon

Act 4, scene 6



Characters in the Play

Entire Play

Events before the start of Hamlet set the stage for tragedy. When the king of Denmark, Prince Hamlet’s father, suddenly dies, Hamlet’s…

Act 1, scene 1

On the guards’ platform at Elsinore, Horatio waits with Barnardo and Marcellus to question a ghost that has twice before…

Act 1, scene 2

In an audience chamber in Elsinore, Claudius, the new king of Denmark, holds court. After thanking his courtiers for their…

Act 1, scene 3

In Polonius’s chambers, Laertes says good-bye to his sister, Ophelia, and tells her not to trust Hamlet’s promises of love….

Act 1, scene 4

While Claudius drinks away the night, Hamlet, Horatio, and Marcellus are visited by the Ghost. It signals to Hamlet. Hamlet’s…

Act 1, scene 5

The Ghost tells Hamlet a tale of horror. Saying that he is the spirit of Hamlet’s father, he demands that…

Act 2, scene 1

Polonius sends his servant Reynaldo to Paris to question Laertes’s acquaintances. Ophelia enters, deeply disturbed about a visit she has…

Act 2, scene 2

Claudius and Gertrude set Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, two boyhood friends of Hamlet, to spy on him. When Hamlet himself enters,…

Act 3, scene 1

After Rosencrantz and Guildenstern report their failure to find the cause of Hamlet’s madness, Polonius places Ophelia where he and…

Act 3, scene 2

Hamlet gives direction to the actors and asks Horatio to help him observe Claudius’s reaction to the play. When the…

Act 3, scene 3

Claudius orders Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to take Hamlet to England. Polonius tells Claudius of his plans to spy on Hamlet’s…

Act 3, scene 4

In Gertrude’s room, Polonius hides behind a tapestry. Hamlet’s entrance so alarms Gertrude that she cries out for help. Polonius…

Act 4, scene 1

Gertrude reports Polonius’s death to Claudius, who sends Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to find Hamlet and recover the body.

Act 4, scene 2

Hamlet refuses to tell Rosencrantz and Guildenstern where he has put Polonius’s body.

Act 4, scene 3

Hamlet is brought to Claudius, who tells him that he is to leave immediately for England. Alone, Claudius reveals that…

Act 4, scene 4

Fortinbras and his army cross Hamlet’s path on their way to Poland. Hamlet finds in Fortinbras’s vigorous activity a model…

Act 4, scene 5

Reports reach Gertrude that Ophelia is mad. Ophelia enters singing about death and betrayal. After Ophelia has gone, Claudius agonizes…

Act 4, scene 6

Horatio is given a letter from Hamlet telling of the prince’s boarding of a pirate ship and his subsequent return…

Act 4, scene 7

Claudius gets a letter from Hamlet announcing the prince’s return. Claudius enlists Laertes’s willing help in devising another plot against…

Act 5, scene 1

Hamlet, returned from his journey, comes upon a gravedigger singing as he digs. Hamlet tries to find out who the…

Act 5, scene 2

In the hall of the castle, Hamlet tells Horatio how he discovered the king’s plot against him and how he…

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Scene 6
Enter Horatio and others.

HORATIO What are they that would speak with me?
GENTLEMAN Seafaring men, sir. They say they have
 letters for you.
HORATIO Let them come in. Gentleman exits. I do not
5 know from what part of the world I should be
 greeted, if not from Lord Hamlet.

Enter Sailors.

SAILOR God bless you, sir.
HORATIO Let Him bless thee too.
SAILOR He shall, sir, an ’t please Him. There’s a letter
10 for you, sir. It came from th’ ambassador that was
 bound for England—if your name be Horatio, as I
 am let to know it is.He hands Horatio a letter.
HORATIO reads the letter Horatio, when thou shalt have
 overlooked this, give these fellows some means to the
15 King. They have letters for him. Ere we were two days
 old at sea, a pirate of very warlike appointment gave
 us chase. Finding ourselves too slow of sail, we put on
 a compelled valor, and in the grapple I boarded them.
 On the instant, they got clear of our ship; so I alone
20 became their prisoner. They have dealt with me like
 thieves of mercy, but they knew what they did: I am to
 do a good turn for them. Let the King have the letters
 I have sent, and repair thou to me with as much speed
 as thou wouldst fly death. I have words to speak in
25 thine ear will make thee dumb; yet are they much too
 light for the bore of the matter. These good fellows
 will bring thee where I am. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern
 hold their course for England; of them I have
 much to tell thee. Farewell.
30 He that thou knowest thine,

ACT 4. SC. 7

 Come, I will give you way for these your letters
 And do ’t the speedier that you may direct me
 To him from whom you brought them.
They exit.