Polonius in Hamlet You are here: It has been acted live in countries throughout the world and has been translated into every language. Polonius is one of the major characters in Hamlet, his role in the play is of great interest to scholars. Parts of Hamlet present Polonius as a fool, whose love of his own voice leads to his constant babbling.
Introduction to Hamlet Hamlet is arguably the greatest dramatic character ever created. From the moment we meet the crestfallen prince we are enraptured by his elegant intensity.
Shrouded in his inky cloak, Hamlet is a man of radical contradictions -- he is reckless yet cautious, courteous yet uncivil, tender yet ferocious.
He meets his father's death with consuming outrage and righteous indignation, yet shows no compunction when he himself is responsible for the deaths of the meddling Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, and the pontificating lord chamberlain, Polonius. He uses the fragile and innocent Ophelia as an outlet for his disgust towards the queen, and cannot comprehend that his own vicious words have caused her insanity.
Hamlet is full of faults. But how is it that even seemingly negative qualities such as indecisiveness, hastiness, hate, brutality, and obsession can enhance Hamlet's position as a tragic hero; a prince among men? To answer these questions we must journey with Hamlet from beginning to end, and examine the many facets of his character.
Our first impression of Hamlet sets the tone for the whole play. Even without Shakespeare providing an elaborate description of Hamlet's features, we can envision his pale face, tousled hair, and intense, brooding eyes.
Dressed totally in black, Hamlet displays all the forms, moods and shapes of grief. His mother cannot help but notice Hamlet's outward appearance of mourning, but Hamlet makes it clear that the overt signs of grief do not come close to conveying how much sorrow he feels inside: For they are the actions that a man might play, But I have that within which passes show, These but the trappings and the suits of woe.
Hamlet's tremendous grief is intensified by this lack of feeling by those around him, and more significantly, by the cold-hearted actions of his mother, who married her brother-in-law within a month of her husband's death.
This act of treachery by Gertrude, whom Hamlet obviously loved greatly at one time, rips the very fabric of Hamlet's being, and he tortures himself with memories of his late father's tenderness towards his mother: So excellent a king, that was to this Hyperion to a satyr, so loving to my mother, That he might not beteem the winds of heaven Visit her face too roughly; heaven and earth, Must I remember?
The godlike view of his father is enhanced by the comparison of Claudius to Hyperion's antithesis, the satyr, a creature half-goat and half-man, known for its drunken and lustful behavior -- the behaviors of the new king, Claudius.
It is no wonder, then, that Hamlet develops a disgust for, not only Claudius the man, but all of the behaviors and excesses associated with Claudius. Hamlet begins to find revelry of any kind unacceptable, but particularly he loathes drinking and sensual dancing.
As they await the Ghost on the castle wall, Hamlet hears the King engaging in merriment down below, and tells Horatio that the whole world is feeling the same contempt for his drunken countrymen: This heavy-headed revel east and west Makes us traduc'd, and tax'd of other nations; They clepe us drunkards, and with swinish phrase Soil our addition; and indeed it takes From our achievements, though perform'd at height, The pith and marrow of our attribute.
Based on the letters and gifts Hamlet gave his once-cherished Ophelia, it is apparent that he did love the girl, and likely felt those feelings of sweet devotion that his father felt for his mother. But, whether due to some overwhelming desire to become the mouthpiece for his father who cannot himself chastise his traitorous wife, or due to the sad fact that all the love in him has truly dried up, Hamlet turns on Ophelia and destroys her, with cruelty almost unimaginable: I have heard of your paintings well enough God hath given you one face, and you make yourselves another: Lady, shall I lie in your lap?
Lying down at Ophelia's feet. I mean, my head upon your lap? Do you think I meant country matters?
I think nothing, my lord. That's a fair thought to lie between maids' legs. But Hamlet is not expressing his desire for Ophelia; he is not lost in the fog of his own madness.Polonius Character Timeline in Hamlet The timeline below shows where the character Polonius appears in Hamlet.
The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
A Danish lord, Polonius is the father of Laertes and Ophelia. And he's exactly the kind of dad who's so embarrassing that you don't even want to bring friends to meet . Polonius Character Analysis (Hamlet) Role: Polonius’ death by Hamlet causes Claudius to fear for his own life, Ophelia to go mad and Leartes to seek revenge, which leads to the duel in the final act.
In the play, Polonius is the first character to die as his plan backfires to cause his death.
Polonius’ death by Hamlet causes Claudius to fear for his own life, Ophelia to go mad and Leartes to seek revenge, which leads to the duel in the final act.
In the play, Polonius is the first character to die as his plan backfires to cause his death. Hamlet is arguably the greatest dramatic character ever created. From the moment we meet the crestfallen prince we are enraptured by his elegant intensity.
Shrouded in his inky cloak, Hamlet is a man of radical contradictions -- he is reckless yet cautious, courteous yet uncivil, tender yet ferocious. Analysis of Ophelia's Character in Shakespeare's Hamlet Essay - In the English play Hamlet, Shakespeare incorporates deep analytical thought in his writing .