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sympathy for Laertes. Osric, a servant enters to inform Hamlet that Claudius wants him to fence with Laertes. Osric announces that the Claudius has bet on Hamlet winning the duel. Afterwards,Hamlet and Laertes are ready for their match. Horatio warns Hamlet to quit but, Hamlet says he will do it and follow what God has given to him. The King and Queen arrive to view the match. Hamlet apologized to Laertes and told him that he murdered his father Polonius because he was crazy. However, Laertes pretends to accept Hamlet's apology even though he is just biding his time so he can attack him during their duel. Laertes's this courteous behavior reveals how his revenge can make him manipulative.At this point of the scene, Hamlet and Laertes are ready for fencing. King Claudius knows Hamlet was a threat to his power and his life. Therefore, Claudius wanted to murder Hamlet. Claudius ordered two goblets of wine. He announced that if Hamlet wins the first or second hit, he would drink a cup of wine and throw the valuable pearl into another cup of wine for Hamlet to drink. Claudius announced, “Stay, give me drink.—Hamlet, this pearl is thine, Here’s to thy health” (306-307). The word “pearl” represents “poison” and “thy health” represents Hamlet's death. Claudius’s evil plan of poisoning wine and the tip of the sword was planned by both him and Laertes before the duel. Now, the duel begins and first and second hit was by Hamlet. Hamlet refused to drink and said he would drink after that match because he wasnot thirsty. Claudius told Gertrude that Hamlet would win, After hearing Claudius, she agreed
with him and wanted to celebrate the victory before the match was over. Gertrude took the wine-cup which was kept for Hamlet with a pearl and raised the cup. She drank the wine and Claudius talked to himself in a feeble voice, “ It is the poisoned cup: it is too late...” (319). He did not try enough to stop queen. Gertrude says, “No, no, the drink, the drink!—O my dear Hamlet! The drink, the drink! I am poisoned” (340-341). She warned Hamlet not to drink the wine as it was poisoned and she died. The words “poisoned” represents two meanings “poison” and “corruption.” Gertrude informed her son that the drink was poisoned and she was about to die. The line represents that Gertrude was poisoned by drinking the wine, but there was a hidden message given by Shakespeare. Gertrude married Claudius knowing he killed her husband because she was also craving for power and being a queen. Therefore, she did not care to marry amurderer. The hidden message was the drink poisoned by Claudius like herself.Meanwhile, the duel continued between Hamlet and Laertes. Laertes mentioned Claudiusthat he would hit Hamlet with a poisoned blade. However, he struggled with a conscience.