(Hamlet) Polonius


  • Created by: NHow02
  • Created on: 26-05-19 20:01
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  • Polonius
    • As a fool
      • 'what was I about to say?'/'Where did I leave?'
        • Lost in his own monologue
          • Elizabethan atmosphere of uncertainty (as the queen had not named a successor)
            • 'I feared' (climate of fear)
        • Coleridge: 'skeleton of his former skill and statecraft'
        • Contrasts to 'draw', 'gather' & 'glean'
      • 'Hamlet's lunacy'/ 'Hamlet's transformation'
        • Polonius immediately accepts Hamlet's madness as fact
    • As evil
      • 'Denmark's a prison'
        • Elizabethan 'surveillance state' (used to route out recusants)
          • Extended metaphor for England
        • Claudius represents the rift that could possibly open up in the future
          • Polonius is helping him, 'go we to the king' (ignorant or a schemer?)
    • As good
      • 'the soul lends the tongue vows'
        • Fears for Ophelia's reputation (Hamlet driven solely by passion)
        • 'lends' creates a temporary effect
        • Idea of the devil 'speaking in tongues'
      • 'where the truth is hid, though it were hid indeed within the centre'
        • 'sick at heart'
          • As an ageing monarch, Elizabethan audience would have feared for the future
        • Polonius had been advisor to Old Hamlet (represents the old state of Denmark)
          • Audience would have identified him with the rule of young & powerful Elizabeth
          • Hudson: 'wishes to do his entire duty'

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