When in your motion you are hot and dry – As make your bouts more violent to that end – And that he calls for drink, I’ll have prepared him A chalice for the nonce, whereon but sipping, If he by chance escape your venom’d stuck, Our purpose may hold there.

Now Claudius is telling Laertes how to fight?

Like, basically, he wants him to wear Hamlet out so that he’ll get thirsty and then drink from this chalice.

I mean, it is the literal definition of overkill.

Laertes has a perfectly logical plan to cut Hamlet with a poison blade and Claudius is like – Yes, And – make him so hot and tired he’ll also drink some poison!

In a way, it’s a little insulting of Laertes’ plan.

If in fact we can think of one’s murder plans as something one can be proud of and therefore insulted about.

If Claudius wants to kill Hamlet himself why not just do it? Why’s he got to insult Laertes and implicate him as well?

I guess the Chalice is his insurance policy – both against Hamlet and Laertes chickening out. But it is a 2nd murdering – when he would, theoretically, be murdered already.

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