Gertude is confronted with Hamlet, but afterwards she goes to Claudius who is talking to Rosencrantz and Gildenstern. She wants to talk to him alone though. Once those two left, she tells Claudius about her run-in with Hamlet. She says that he is mad and also tells Claudius that Hamlet has killed Polonius. Claudius then wonders how he will handle this without damaging his reputation and his rule over Denmark. He then tells Gertrude that he needs to ship Hamlet to England and figure out a reason to tell people why he left. He then tells Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to go find Hamlet.
“The sun no sooner shall the mountains touch but we will ship him hence; and this vile deed we must with all our majesty and skill both countenance and excuse.” -Claudius
Act IV Scene 2
Rosencrantz asks Hamlet what he did with the body. Hamlet starts talking to Rosencrantz and goes off on how the King is. Then they go and talk to the king after they establish that the body is gone.
“Of nothing. Bring me to him. Hide fox, after all” -Hamlet
Act IV Scene 3
The king speaks to a group of attendants, telling them of Polonius’s death and his intention to send Hamlet to England. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern appear with Hamlet, who is under guard. Pressed by Claudius to reveal the location of Polonius’s body, Hamlet is by turns inane, coy, and clever, saying that Polonius is being eaten by worms, and that the king could send a messenger to find Polonius in heaven or seek him in hell himself. Finally, Hamlet reveals that Polonius’s body is under the stairs near the castle lobby, and the king dispatches his attendants to look there. The king tells Hamlet that he must leave at once for England, and Hamlet enthusiastically agrees. He exits, and Claudius sends Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to ensure that he boards the ship at once. Alone with his thoughts, Claudius states his hope that England will obey the sealed orders he has sent with Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. The orders call for Prince Hamlet to be put to death. Act IV Scene 4
On a nearby plain in Denmark, young Prince Fortinbras marches at the head of his army, traveling through Denmark on the way to attack Poland. Fortinbras orders his captain to go and ask the King of Denmark for permission to travel through his lands. On his way, the captain encounters Hamlet, Rosencrantz, and Guildenstern on their way to the ship bound for England. The captain informs them that the Norwegian army rides to fight the Poles. Hamlet asks about the basis of the conflict, and the man tells him that the armies will fight over. Hamlet marvels that human beings are able to act so violently and purposefully for so little gain. By comparison, Hamlet has a great deal to gain from seeking his own bloody revenge on Claudius, and yet he still delays and fails to act toward his purpose. Disgusted with himself for having failed to gain his revenge on Claudius, Hamlet declares that from this moment on, his thoughts will be bloody.
Act IV Scene 5
Ophelia is starting to show her craziness the queen doesn’t want to talk to Ophelia but eventually she comes around to letting her in.
“She speaks much of her father, says she hears There’s tricks I’th world, and hems, and beats her heart, Spurns enviously at straws, speaks…