Act IV, Scene ii

Synopsis of Hamlet Act IV scene ii

Hamlet, having hidden Polonius's body, is found by Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, who take him to the king.

Commentary on Hamlet Act IV scene ii

Compounded it with dust, whereto 'tis kin — the mortality of the body is stressed here. This is a motif which increases from this point on in the play, culminating in the scene in the graveyard (Act V scene i).

The body is with the King, but the King is not with the body — in this play on words Hamlet remarks not merely on the missing body of Polonius, but also on Claudius' unfitness to be the representative and head of the body politic.

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