Hamlet Summary of Act IV, Scene 4
by William Shakespeare

In a field somewhere in Denmark, Fortinbras marches with his army, traveling through Denmark on his way to Poland. Fortinbras orders his captain to go ask Claudius, the king, for permission to march through the country. The captain runs into Hamlet, Rosencrantz, and Guildenstern, and explains that the Norwegian army is marching to Poland to fight over “a little patch of land/That hath in it no profit but the name.” Hamlet muses over how human beings will so readily fight over things of no significance. Disgusted with his own failure to act against Claudius when he has had so much reason to do so, Hamlet swears that from that moment on, his thoughts will be only of revenge.

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