'Tis most true:
And he beseech'd me to entreat your majesties
To hear and see the matter.
With all my heart; and it doth much content me
To hear him so inclined.
Good gentlemen, give him a further edge,
And drive his purpose on to these delights.
We shall, my lord.
Exeunt ROSENCRANTZ and GUILDENSTERN
Sweet Gertrude, leave us too;
For we have closely sent for Hamlet hither,
That he, as 'twere by accident, may here
Her father and myself, lawful espials,
Will so bestow ourselves that, seeing, unseen,
We may of their encounter frankly judge,
And gather by him, as he is behaved,
If 't be the affliction of his love or no
That thus he suffers for.
I shall obey you.
And for your part, Ophelia, I do wish
That your good beauties be the happy cause
Of Hamlet's wildness: so shall I hope your virtues
Will bring him to his wonted way again,
To both your honours.
Madam, I wish it may.
There is a terrible price to pay for spying in this play. It is set up early in the seemingly-unimportant scene between Polonius and Reynaldo, wherein the father despatches a servant to spy on his son abroad. This is Polonius’ modus operandi, it seems. As soon as there’s another problem, his suggestion is another spying trick. Later in the play, he is dealt his own reward when he winds up behind another arras, this time with less intent, and is stabbed by Hamlet. It’s a neat trick, and at some level perhaps it is Shakespeare’s comment on the spycraft so enthusiastically employed in Elizabeth’s England.