The player weeps at the plight of Priam, slain King of Troy, but Hamlet has yet to act on his oath of vengeance against the murderer Claudius and loathes himself for his inaction: “O, what a rogue and peasant slave am I”.
Claudius reveals his guilt by his reaction to the play, the Murder of Gonzago, and finally Hamlet has proof of the Ghosts accusation but this knowledge is both satisfying and frightening to Hamlet as he contemplates his next move: “’Tis the very witching time of night”.
In his only soliloquy, Claudius reveals that he feels remorse for this crime but as he is unwilling to give up the fruits of his sins, he knows he will never be forgiven for what he has done and is doomed: “O, my offence is rank, it smells to heaven”.
The reunion of Hamlet and Yorick (or at least his skull) prompts Hamlet to reflect on the transient nature of our physical presence on earth and he realizes that the ultimate fate of kings and beggars is to return to dust as all the dead have done: “Alexander died, Alexander was buried, Alexander returneth to dust...”.
Horatio pleads with Hamlet not to meet Laertes’ challenge but Hamlet finally seems to be at peace with his own mortality: “If it be now, ‘tis not to come; if it be not to come, it will be now; it if be not now, yet it will come. The readiness is all”.