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Hamlet, An Analysis Of Polonious

919 words - 4 pages

Although Polonius is bent on servitude and devotion to King Claudius, he is torn between his career ambitions and his family. Polonius deceitful actions serve as an epitome of a typical character in "Hamlet." He is a politician, and politicians are generally two faced individuals. For example, while his son Laertes was prepping to leave Denmark to travel to France, Polonius gave him a fatherly speech of proper manners. In the following act, he sends a servant to France to seek inconsistencies in Laertes's conduct. Also, to further fuel his aspirations, he stoops as low to use his own daughter Ophelia to extract information from Hamlet just to impress King Claudius. Polonius craves acceptance, and he'll do anything to maintain his image to Claudius. Before Laertes left for college in France, Polonius delivers a consultative speech of integrity and sensibility.And these few precepts in thy memoryLook thou character. Give thy thoughts no tongue,Nor any unproportioned thought his act.Be thou familiar, but by no means vulgar.Those friends thou hast, and their adoption tried,Grapple them unto thy soul with hoops of steel;But do not dull thy palm with entertainmentOf each new-hatch'd, unfledg'd comrade. BewareOf entrance to a quarrel; but, being in,Bear't that the opposed may beware of thee.Give every man thine ear, but few thy voice:Take each man's censure, but reserve thy judgment.Costly thy habit as thy purse can buy,But not express'd in fancy; rich, not gaudy:For the apparel oft proclaims the man;And they in France of the best rank and stationAre most select and generous chief in that.Neither a borrower nor a lender be:For loan oft loses both itself and friend;And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry.This above all,--to thine own self be true;And it must follow, as the night the day,Thou canst not then be false to any man.Farewell. My blessing season this in thee! (I, iii, 62-85)Polonius's long list of clichés includes the principles of keeping his thoughts to himself, to hold on to old friends but be slow to trust new friends, to listen to others over being too garrulous, and to be true to his own self. At face value, it appears as if Polonius is being the ideal father. He is simply giving his son advice on how to be an upstanding citizen. The audience interprets Polonius to be a well suited advisor; a keen man using his comprehension of society to provide proper advice for his son Laertes. In the following act, the politician within Polonius is exposed."And in part him;--but," you may say, "not well.But if't be he I mean, he's very wild;Addicted so and so." And there put on himWhat forgeries you please;...

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