The king, sir –

Why does he start here?
Is this what Gertrude has told him to say? “Go tell my son the king is upset.”
What does she expect this to accomplish? Did this approach work when Hamlet’s Dad was the king?
Is this what she’s always done?

Apparently the queen is suffering under “great affliction of spirit”. Can she not say, “I’m upset and need to see my son?” I guess not. She’s got to deflect the difficulty. It’s not HER issue – it’s the King’s.
But while Hamlet MAY have been atuned to his father’s distemper, he doesn’t have much reason to care about his uncle’s distemper – murder and kingship aside.
I want to know what Gertrude and Hamlet’s routine was BEFORE the events of this play and how this exchange reflects either a continuation or deviation from it.

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