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What does He hath laid on twelve for nine from Hamlet mean 5.2.180?

Amanda Johnson

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Jeffrey Rodriguez on November 6, 2018

The whole passage is: Osric [Village] "The King, the lord, has laid, sir, that in a dozen passes between yourself and him, he shall not exceed three hits. He carried on twelve of nine, and that would come to immediate trial if your lordship would vouchsafe the answer." (5.2.178-182) - I interpret this as: The king has bet that in twelve steps for every one of you (hamlet and Laertes), Laertes should not get more than three points ahead of you. He bet by 12 to 9, and we can see for ourselves soon if you would be saved. 12 passes each gives 24 total. With a handicap of three, the new total is 21 hits. 12+9=21. - Hypothetically, Hamlet starts the match with three points. --I hope that helps (all in all, it's really not too important)-- (MORE)

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