So far he topp’d my thought, That I, in forgery of shapes and tricks, Come short of what he did.

What the? Why the immense mythologizing of this random French dude? I mean, I know Claudius is trying to build up Laertes and he’s doing it by building up this other guy who once spoke highly of Laertes – but we assume Laertes knows this guy – because he says, “Lamond” but it’s such an odd thing to do. It’s an odd odd way to flatter – to speak about a third party in such an extreme way. And to go on and on about him. Is this some common trick of rhetoric that seems weird now? Most contemporary productions cut this scene way down but why did Shakespeare put it here? That’s my question.

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