The Readiness Is All: Hamlet Lecture Three


Following the play within a play, Hamlet confronts his mother and accidentally kills Polonius in a fit of rage. After Hamlet thwarts Claudius’s plot to kill him, he tangles with Polonius’s son Laertes, brother of the dead Ophelia. Hamlet agrees to a duel with Laertes, as the play marches on to its tragic end.


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Stephen Smith is the Temple Family Professor in English Literature at Hillsdale College. He received his B.A. from the University of Notre Dame and his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Dallas.