What Is 'To Thine Self Be True' By William Shakespeare

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Throughout act one, I found there to be many quotations that have deep philosophical meaning behind them, however, one stood out to me above all. When Laertes was about to leave for France, Polonius told him, "to thine self be true”- (I.iii.78). I find this to be quite profound, because it shows that Polonius isn’t just a babbling idiot, but a truly philosophical and intelligent, yet overlooked individual. Above all, I feel that this is amazing fatherly advice, and parents today should really focus on making this known to their children because it is something that many struggle with at some point in their lives. Through the pressure from society, as well as struggling to fit in, the average person finds it very hard to be themselves. The…show more content…
Within the first act, the ghost of Hamlet 's father appears three times. Once when Bernardo and Marcellus tell Horatio they’ve seen a ghost, “Before my God, I might not believe this,” (I.I.56), a second time when Horatio says, “But soft, behold! Io, where it comes again!” (I.I.126), and a third time when Horatio tells Hamlet, “It beckons you to go away with it,” (I.IV.58). I believe the three appearances of the ghost are significant because of its biblical reference. In the bible, it says that Jesus was crucified and on the third day he rose again and left to never be seen again. The ghost is framed as jesus in the sense that in act one it took him till the third time to make his last appearance, and in terms of Jesus it was the third day he made his last appearance, so there is correlation between the two. Another occasion when we see the pattern of three is when the ghost says, “Adieu, adieu, adieu! remember me!”(I.V.92). This religiously signifies the departure of the ghost, as at the end of a prayer, one would say “the father, the son and the holy spirit”, three words. With this being said, I feel that the ghost had finished telling Hamlet everything he wanted to and concluded his reason for being there. The final time there is a trend with the pattern three involving the ghost of Hamlet’s Dad is…show more content…
Hamlet is a play about spying and it is especially apparent in act II. At the beginning of this act, we notice that Polonius is telling Reynaldo to spy on his son in Paris. “Before you visit him, to make inquiry/ Of his behaviour” (II.i.3-4). It is shown how badly Polonius wants to know exactly what Laertes is doing, even though it is really none of his business. At the end of the act we see Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, old friends of Hamlet, and Hamlet asks Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, “what makes you at Elsinore?” (II.II.270). Rosencrantz replies with a lie, and Hamlet catches it asking them if they were sent to spy. We know Claudius has sent Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to spy on Hamlet and determine just as to why Hamlet was acting so odd, even though it was none of Claudius’ concern. I believe the significance of Shakespeare’s framing of the beginning and ending of act two is to show the contrast between Polonius and Claudius, as well as the similarities. They both want to know everything that 's going on in other people 's lives, and feel like they have every right to know too. Not only do I believe Claudius and Polonius are always in other people’s business, but I noticed they both get people to do their dirty work for them, as well as have traits of manipulation. I truly think when Ophelia was told to talk to Hamlet, she only did so to obey her father and didn’t have any intent of
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