Give them the foils, young Osric.

It does rather feel like Claudius might be concerned Hamlet and Laertes might start fighting in an unorganized way if he doesn’t intervene. And he definitely doesn’t want a fist fight because a fist fight will make it a lot harder for Laertes to “accidentally” kill Hamlet with a poisoned sword.

It feels a bit like Claudius is trying to defuse this back and forth so they can get to the business of killing Hamlet.

Come, Hamlet, come, and take this hand from me.

In the Prankster Hamlet, Claudius just hands him a rubber hand – either in his own sleeve or in Laertes’. And when the hand comes off, they all crack up because that gag is always a winner. It wouldn’t even need to be a rubber hand. It could be a stuffed glove. Joke still works, though.

Till then, in patience our proceeding be.

Leaving aside the character of the man speaking this line, it is actually good advice for the current moment. Often when people recommend activists be patient, they mean to wait, to stop, to accept the current circumstances and put up with the status quo.

But there is a patience that can travel with action, with proceeding. We can proceed with patience.

I want this current government gone. I am impatient for this national nightmare to be over – but patient proceeding is probably a better strategy. To continue forward, as patiently as possible.

An hour of quiet shortly shall we see.

I saw a tweet recently wherein someone reminded us of how upset we were a couple of years ago because some rock stars died. Like – we thought 2016 was a terrible year because we lost so many greats. (And also we elected a narcissistic pathological liar to the presidency.) Now, it seems quaint. Now, every day there is a new crisis. Every day the news is the worst we could have imagined a couple of years ago. What we wouldn’t all give for an hour of quiet.

This grave shall have a living monument.

I take this to mean that a guard will be posted here.
After two people tried to jump in to the grave, after the priest expressed his displeasure about the burial, after so much drama, stationing a guard here is pretty reasonable.

The tomb of the unknown soldier has a living monument and it is one of the most poignant symbolic rituals we have. The military does symbolism and theatre like no one else.

We’ll put the matter to the present push.

Oh the present push!
Oh the present fight!
Oh the present madness!
Oh the present blight!
Did everyone feel like this while they watched their empires fall?
Did the population in Ancient Rome suffer from Chronic Migraine before it burned?
My country, as I imagined it, is dead.
But we fight for what might be salvaged.
When England’s empire fell, they did not vanish, they did not disappear.
Perhaps America won’t need to burn to the ground in my lifetime.

Strengthen your patience in our last night’s speech.

I’m picturing sending patience to the gym, patience doing some strengthening exercises that involve renewing the previous night’s speech, patience doing some crunches, patience doing jumping jacks.
And, in a way, patience really does need practice, it does need strengthening. If one cannot be patient in small instances then big ones will be ever out of reach. Do a little bit of patience practice and the capacity for patience grows. But don’t overdo it. I know people who confuse tolerance for patience and let it consume their will. That will not add up to good. That will tax the will until it breaks. There is a big difference between patience and putting up with something.

I pray you, good Horatio, wait upon him.

It’s funny how Horatio doesn’t say anything in response to this request from the king. He just goes and does it. And the king calls him good Horatio. It’s a little bit fishy. Is Horatio a double agent?
He’s got some weird privileges in this court. He seems to have everyone’s trust and it is never questioned. Where is he from? Why is he hanging around?
Even after Hamlet is deported, he’s still there. Why?
It’s very mysterious when you try to pull it apart

O, he is mad, Laertes.

Now why doesn’t Claudius just let Laertes kill him right then? He clearly wants to. It would be kind of justified, too. Well, not, JUSTIFIED but certainly understandable. It would be so much more easily explained to the world. Hamlet went mad, jumped in Ophelia’s grave, insulted her brother and Laertes, infuriated, killed him. Done and done.

Is he afraid Hamlet will beat Laertes in a fight and then all his hard manipulation work would be lost?