Hamlet: Novel Summary: Act 3, Scene 3

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Claudius orders Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to leave for England immediately, taking the Prince.  They vow to do so and leave as Polonius enters.  Polonius informs the King that Hamlet is on his way to speak with Gertrude and plans to hide in the room to listen.  Left alone, Claudius begins to speak of his guilt.  As he kneels to pray for forgiveness and to be released from his guilt, Hamlet quietly enters.  The Prince draws his sword, planning to kill Claudius, but stops when he gets the idea that if he dies having purged his soul of sin, Claudius will go to heaven.  Hamlet decides to kill Claudius later when he is behaving sinfully to ensure that he will go to hell.  He leaves and the King rises, telling the audience that he has been unable to pray.

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