Hamlet's Destructive Humor
Humor can be funny and uplifting or cynical and destructive. Hamlet's humor insults every one around him and it's very cynical and leads to his downfall. When Hamlet insults people around him, his remarks are not clearly understood by the people who he is insulting. Hamlet makes Polonius look like a fool when he criticizes him with his words, and Polonius doesn't know that he is being fooled. Hamlet even makes fun of the courtiers particularly Rosencrantz and Guildernstern. Although Hamlet doesn't stop there, he even insults Claudius and his own mother, Gertrude. Hamlet's love, Ophelia, is also an unfortunate victim of these remarks. All these insulting remarks show Hamlet's lack of sympathy for other people, and this confusion leads to his downfall.
When Hamlet feigns madness, Polonius is the most unfortunate victim of Hamlet's insulting and humorous words. When Polonius asks Hamlet, "Do you know me my lord?" (2.2.173) Hamlet replies by saying, "Excellent well. You are a fishmonger." (2.2.174). Hamlet says that, Polonius is sacrificing his daughter's happiness to win the trust of the king. Hamlet says to Polonius, "For if the sun breed maggots in a dead dog, being a good kissing carrion-Have you a daughter?" (2.2.182-183). Hamlet says that it is not surprising that Polonius is such a hypocrite, because the life giving sun can produce all kinds of horrible things, especially from other horrible things. Polonius asks Hamlet, "Will you walk out of the air, my lord?"(2.2.204), and Hamlets says, "Into my grave" (2.2.204). When Polonius offers Hamlet to go to a warmer room, Hamlet says he'd rather die than go anywhere with Polonius. All these insulting remarks show that Polonius is being mocked and ridiculed by Hamlet and Polonius doesn't know that he is being insulted.
Hamlet's old friends Rosencrantz and Guildernstern are the courtiers who Hamlet really enjoys toying around with. When Claudius sent these two courtiers to figure out what was wrong with Hamlet, they never figured out his problem, in fact Hamlet found out what they were up to. "I know the good king and queen have sent for you." (2.2.271-272) Here Hamlet surprises the courtiers making them admit that they're spying for Claudius. Rosencrantz tries to make Hamlet talk about his ambition, and Hamlet replies by saying, "Then are our beggars bodies, and our monarchs and outstretched heroes the beggars' shadows." (2.2.263-264). When Hamlet says this,...