In Act 4 scene 6, Horatio reads a letter from Hamlet telling him that on his way to England, the ship was attacked by pirates. Hamlet managed to escape sending Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to their imminent death in England. Pirates in the North Sea?
In the next scene, Claudius convinces Laertes to seek revenge against Hamlet for killing his father Polonius. Suddenly, a messenger arrives announcing Hamlet’s return to the Danish court and Claudius then persuades Laertes through flattery, then pressures him to prove that he truly loved his father. Claudius has the attention of Laertes, then reveals his plan.
“When Hamlet comes home Laertes is to stay away from him, but the King will get people to praise Laertes’ skill with his rapier in front of Hamlet, so that Hamlet will become even more envious. (In the following scenes we don’t see or hear anything more of this first part of the King’s plan.) Then a wager will be made that Hamlet can’t best Laertes in a fencing match. At the fencing match Laertes will have a “sword unbated,” that is, one without the protective button on the sharp end. At this point, the King gives Hamlet an unconscious compliment, saying that “He, being remiss, / Most generous and free from all contriving, / Will not peruse the foils” (4.7.134-136). So Laertes will be able to get his revenge accidentally on purpose.” Hamlet Navigator
Where there are pirates, there must be opera!