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In what ways does the presentation of Polonius contribute to the play Hamlet?

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'Hamlet' By William Shakespeare Question: In what ways does the presentation of Polonius contribute to the play Hamlet? Answer: Polonius, counsellor to the King, father of Ophelia and Laertes (and although there is no evidence, it is possible that he held a position at court under Hamlet's father, the old King), seems to have a close and developed relationship with the Royal family and knows a lot about the family history and background in detail. With the audience knowing this, Shakespeare can use Polonius as a weapon against Claudius in order to protect himself or to blackmail the King. He is a man who is trusted by Claudius, the King of Denmark who tells Laertes, Polonius' son, that his father is incalculably important to Denmark, " The head is not more native to the heart, The hand is more instrumental to the mouth, Than is the throne of Denmark to thy father." ...read more.


Polonius enters the scene giving lecture-like advice to Laertes about factors to engage in and factors not to engage in. " Be thou familiar, but by no means vulgar." (Act 1 Scene 3-Line 61) He does not trust his son, which is why Polonius calls on Reynaldo "to make inquire of his behaviour." Not only this, but he gives long-winded advise to Ophelia without considering her feelings by playing with his words, and accusing Ophelia of not being able to make her own sensible decisions. "You speak like a green girl" (Act 1 Scene 3-Line 101) Polonius' playing with words does not stop here; he uses plays on words to make himself seem intelligent, while the king and queen are not impressed at all. When he realizes that his 'artificial intelligence' is not working, he comes up with his "lovesick" plan (to spy on Hamlet and use Ophelia). ...read more.


(Act 2 Scene 2-Lines 51-52) Shakespeare uses a character like Polonius in this play to complement the whole play. Polonius' ironical jokes make the audience laugh and balances out the play against the tense and important scenes in the play, HAMLET " Do you see yonder cloud that's almost in shape of a camel?" POLONIUS " By th'mass, and 'tis like a camel indeed. HAMLET " Methinks it is like a weasel. POLONIUS " It is backed like a weasel. HAMLET " Or like a whale? POLONIUS " Very like a whale. (Act 3 Scene 2-Lines 339-344) In act 3 scene 2, when Polonius is told to fetch Hamlet, Hamlet plays with his words towards Polonius and makes him say anything that he, Hamlet chooses. Polonius is made to say that he sees imaginary shapes, which Hamlet suggests, are in the clouds. ?? ?? ?? ?? Kuljit Bhachoo 12JJ I ...read more.

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