Hamlet Act Two

1 January 2017

Hamlet Act ll An important character in the play Hamlet is Polonius. Polonius is often thought to be foolish, and thoughtless. However, Polonius is anything but foolish, and thoughtless. Polonius is a man who is very intellectual, and he provides guidance to those who need it. For example, his advice to Reynaldo on how to monitor Laertes’s wild behavior is magnificent and brilliant. His advice to Ophelia about Hamlet, love, and affection is very accurate.

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Polonius is considered a fool to some people, because Hamlet is making it seem that way, he wants to put Polonius down, and make Polonius seem like a fool. Hamlet is rude to Polonius, and constantly making fun of him. At one point Hamlet calls Polonius a “fishmonger”. Hamlet then makes his insult worse by wishing that Polonius were as honest as a fishmonger, which is to say that Polonius is lower than the lowest.

Although, Polonius is nothing of the sort, another example of Polonius providing guidance to those who need it is when Laertes is waiting for his ship to depart, Polonius has a couple of minutes to tell him how to live well. His brief advice is insightful and parental. He tells Laertes to think before he acts, listen more than talk, keep good friends close but don’t worry about drinking buddies. Don’t get in fights, watch your money, and take care of your appearance, things like that. Polonius is the kind to seek to discover the truth on his own.

He studies Hamlet to link his madness to love and betrayal. He then seeks to trial his theories by testing Hamlet’s sanity through a slew of inquiring questions. A foolish man does not do this. Perhaps, Polonius was just putting on an act, to make people think that he was foolish and stupid. Regardless of his motives, Polonius cannot be described as a simple character. Polonius has gotten a bad reputation, but further depth into his character reveals that Polonius is indeed a complex character with a great deal of wisdom.

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