Hamlet – the Wise Polonius The older gent in Shakespeare’s tragedy Hamlet, namely Polonius, is no type character. Rather he is quite rounded and complex. This essay will explore his character.
The Deceptive Character of Polonius in William Shakespeare's Hamlet "Oh, what a tangled web we weave, When first we practice to deceive!". This quote by Sir Walter Scott has been heard around the world, translated into many languages, and repeated to us by parents, teachers, and our peers. What does it truly mean? Humans create major and possibly chaotic problems when trying to beguile others.
The Manipulation of Polonius and Ophelia in Hamlet The main plot of Shakespeare's Hamlet centers around Prince Hamlet's desire to repay King Claudius for his evil deeds. Around this central action revolve the stories concerning the minor characters of Polonius and Ophelia. Though they do not motivate Hamlet's actions towards the King, these characters act as forces upon Hamlet himself, trying to spur him to do things he does not want to do. Both Polonius and Ophelia try, unsuccessfully, to manipulate Hamlet into a place of inferiority.
Before Laertes is about to go to France, Polonius talks to him and tells him all of his good advice. While Polonius tells Laertes all of his good advice, he says, “My blessing with thee'; (I.iii.61). This statement shows that Polonius really wants Laertes to be successful when he goes to France. Polonius says, “Beware of entrance to a quarrel';, (I.iii.69) because he wants him to be safe. Polonius wants Laertes to stay out of trouble, and to be friendly with everyone he meets. Another point Polonius wants to make is that it is better to listen than to talk. “Give every man thy ear, but few thy voice'; (I.iii.72). Polonius believes that it is better to listen too much than to talk too much, because sometimes people who talk too much get into trouble, and others don’t like them. Whereas, people who listen more than they talk rarely have others who don’t like them and they don’t get into much trouble. Another way Polonius tells Laertes to stay out of trouble is when he says, “Neither a borrower nor a lender be'; (I.iii.80). This is important because sometimes when things are borrowed, the lender will get mad that the borrower didn’t return when it was needed or the borrower ruined part of it. Even when it is an accident, it is still better to not borrow or lend anything from anyone just in case one person has a short temper. Polonius lastly and most importantly tells Laertes, “This above all to thine own self be true';. This is good advice because if people are not true to themselves, then they can’t really be true to anyone else. Polonius believes that Laertes should have enough self-respect to be true to himself.
Laertes is a young man whose good instincts have been somewhat obscured by the concern with superficial appearances which he has imbibed from his father, Polonius. Like his father, Laertes apparently preaches a morality he does not practice and fully believes in a double standard of behavior for the sexes. But if his father allows him these liberties, it is that he may better approximate the manner of a so - called gentleman. More concerned with the outward signs of gentility than with any inner refinement of spirit, Laertes has well observed his father's advice to be concerned with appearances since "the apparel oft proclaims the man."
...is inaction. The tragic hero walks a very lonely role, and this seclusion probably deserves a mention in literature's eternal search for the roots of his torment. With words more sage than he realizes, Polonius condenses Hamlet's entire struggle into a single poignant idea: "The origin and commencement of his grief / Sprung from neglected love" (3.1, 180-181). Polonius and Laertes derail Ophelia's tenderness, and Claudius' persuasion steals the heart of Gertrude. A unanimous lack of mourning scoffs at Hamlet's deep esteem for his fallen father and even the companionship of his childhood friends succumbs to Claudius' menacing demands. The end result is a huge gulf between ally and adversary, a gulf that ultimately plummeted Hamlet to the depths of psychological torment.
Shakespeare does not expound greatly on the personalities of his characters; rather he lets them do it for themselves. Through Polonius’s actions and words towards Gertrude in the play, it seems that he is much mor...
Although Polonius had shown great servitude to King Hamlet, Gertrude, and Prince Hamlet, he now serves the very man that killed his former master. Presenting himself to Claudius, this vacillating subject gives the new ruler his utmost respect: “I assure my good liege, I hold my duty as I hold my soul, both to God and to my gracious king” (2.2.46-48). Yes, Polonius does not know that Claudius murdered his own brother. Still, Polonius never questioned how King Hamlet died so abruptly and why his brother married his widow. Without hesitation, this once ...
This is shown through Polonius’s discussion with Reynaldo about spying on Laertes, Claudius and Gertrude’s conversation with Reynaldo and Rosencrantz about spying on Hamlet, and Hamlet’s scheme of describing his father’s death in his play to watch Claudius’ reaction and confirm that Claudius