The queen desires you to use some gentle Entertainment to Laertes before you fall to play.

What DOES the Queen mean here? She surely doesn’t mean a recitation of poetry or some light soft rock playing.

If Hamlet’s actual actions in the scene have met her request, it’s some light banter and a heartfelt apology.

I think it’s probably an exchanging of niceties, really. 

Why does a grown man need to be suggested such a thing via a third party? And not even a third party with a name.

It’s a little bit patronizing.

But it also makes me wonder if there’s some coded messaging that might happen between mother and son in such a codified environment. These two haven’t talked since they discussed Hamlet Senior’s murder. They haven’t even had a chat since Ophelia died and Hamlet tried to leap into her grave.

Is this instruction as patronizing as it seems or does it contain some message? Or did it contain a message that the lord has observed in his reporting of it?

Probably it’s just a motherly suggestion of being nice to your opponent before you try to kill him with a sword – but maybe there’s more!

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