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character polonius in william shakespeares hamlet

Polonius “ … Tedious Old Fool ” Essay, Research Paper

“ Tedious old sap ” , that ’ s the phrase that comes to mind when mentioning to one of cardinal characters in Shakespeare ’ s authoritative, Hamlet. Polonius the male parent of Ophelia and Laertes and head adviser to Claudius. Hamlet more than any character in the drama has a bid over the audience in regard to how the other characters are perceived. So when he refers to Polonius as a “ boring old sap ” what else is the reader to believe of this key participant throughout the drama? Many readers when sing his function in the drama have labeled this phrase to Polonius. Not much statement about his age but a sap he is non. To exclude Polonius significance and see his actions as random Acts of the Apostless of folly, the calamity of Hamlet could non be revered as a authoritative.

First of we need to maintain in head the fact that Polonius is main adviser to the Dane, this puts him in a great place to give an penetration into one of the primary characters, Claudius. The conversations held between the male monarch and Polonius gives the reader a more graphic image of merely how distorted the head of Claudius is and adds to the tragic ambiance of the drama. From these duologues Polonius exhibits that he is non every bit simple minded, as he seems. There is a whole batch more traveling on in the caput of the bumbling sap than it appears to be. To demo this you would hold to see the faces of Polonius, devotedness to his household and trueness to the male monarch.

The audience is foremost introduced to Polonius when his boy, Laertes, decides that he wants to return to Paris to complete college. At first glimpse, through a long in deepness address, Polonius acts as a caring male parent demoing echt emotion towards his boy. He will non deny his boy petition to go forth even though it would hold been in his best involvement to hold him remain, he does non wish to be an obstruction in Laertes manner so alternatively he enlightens him the best he could. He gives his boy advice, such as, “ Give every adult male thine ear, but few thy voice ; ” and “ to thy ain ego be true. ” Solid fatherly advice and moral statements that anyone can populate by in society, these words would be exceeding helpful to those embarking from place such as Laertes. Polonius is seeking to protect his boy from the adversities of life, he even hires his friend to maintain an oculus on him. Some see this as misgiving but from an optimistic point of view it ’ s a male parent concerned about his boy remaining on the right way that can be reciprocally beneficially. If Laertes awards his household name like every one should make, Polonius in bend will derive acknowledgment and better his position in the province.

One of the other characters in Hamlet that gave Polonius a bad rep is his intervention towards his girl Ophelia. To judge him by today ’ s criterions would be unjust, it was usage in those times for a female to be submissive towards work forces particularly in a male parent to daughter relationship. Respect and obeisance was a must. Polonius was trying to protect his girl from a deranged and emotionally disturbed Hamlet at the clip. In his talk to Ophelia, Polonius states that he has experience in the affairs of love, “ I do know/when the blood burns how extravagant the soul/Lends the lingua vows ” ( Act I, three ) . From this phrase you can garner that Polonius is seeking to discredit the genuineness of Hamlets fondness. It is easy to misidentify love with

lecherousness and that would be no surprise affecting a prince, particularly with a lame minded female like Ophelia who is susceptible to the words coming from a adult male who she would readily subject to due to Hamlet’s position.

Polonius takes an self-asserting function in covering with his kids but what father doesn ’ t. The drama ne’er references their female parent, so it can be assumed that she is non about. Their male parent takes attention of them and in his ain particular manner loves them. It might non be the sort of love that is common between a male parent to his kids, but its still love.

His engagement in his kids lives might non seen ethical but one time once more we must non bury his duty to the male monarch. Loyalty to Claudius is absolute, if requested to carry through a undertaking he must make it. Polonius has a crafty head, invariably coming up with ways to happen replies and small head secret plan strategies that will state the truth about Hamlet.

Now this is where the over-exaggeration of Polonius being credited as a sap comes into drama, while puting Forth to carry through the undertaking given to him by Claudius. He was to obtain as much information about Hamlets purposes. Polonius exhibited wisdom and espionage tactics to accomplish his end.

Polonius methods weren ’ t the best but however effectual and got the coveted consequences, which was to derive insight into Hamlet ’ s behaviour. He sensed some methods in Hamlet ’ s show of lunacy and investigated farther be scampering all over the castle assemblage information. “ … I have found/The really cause of Hamlet ’ s madness ” ( Act II, two ) . Polonius hunts for cause and ground. He did non merely merely accept what he heard, he seeded to detect the truth on his ain. He goes into great length about Hamlet ’ s lunacy and its relation to love and truth. Supposed love for Ophelia and truth behind his male parents decease. Descrying and deductive ground are non the properties of a simple adult male and surely non a sap.

Polonius words have had an ageless impact on the universe of literature, his lines have likely been recited the most following to Hamlet. His concern about Ophelia emotional position and advice to Laertes was rather sound. Possibly Polonius sometimes foolish behaviour was merely a clever fraud on his portion to catch people of guard or better yet it can be seen as a forepart to conceal the fact from the male monarch that his subsidiary was really wiser. However after sing the two faces of Polonius, the committed male parent and dedicated worker for the well being of the province there is no ground to ignore his function in the drama as a foolish old adult male.

We can non judge things from the yesteryear by today ’ s criterions but in Polonius instance we can do a generalisation that can foster heighten his repute. Polonius function can be seen as a politician whose personal life got tangled up into the work topographic point. Take the recent election. President Bush used his girl during his election run in hopes to derive ballots. The United States can be viewed as Claudius, Bush as Polonius and Ophelia as Bush ’ s girl. If there is one thing that seems to be reflected through out the coarse of clip, that is apparent in Hamlet, maintain your household and concern wholly separated or you will stop up being caught between two extremes. This is what happened to Polonius he was torn between household and concern ( province ) and it led to his death.

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