Polonius Succinctness

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Lying to other people makes it impossible to be self-aware. In Act II of Hamlet, Shakespeare implies that people who tell lies to others end up lying to themselves. They are no longer honest to themselves or cognizant of their limits. Shakespeare portrays Polonius as a pompous hypocrite who doesn’t realise when he’s making a fool out of himself. In the second scene of Act II, Polonius gives a flowery and lengthy speech on the virtue of succinctness. He says, “My liege, and madam, to expostulate/ what majesty should be, what duty is/ Why day is day, night is night and time is time,/ Were nothing but to waste night, day and time/ Therefore, since brevity is the soul of wit/ And tediousness the limbs and outward flourishes,/ I will be brief.” Polonius’s use of the word “expostulate” emphasizes the irony of a long speech advocating shortness and clarity. It’s…show more content…
However, Polonius is sincerely taken aback by the Queen’s accusation. This suggests that his widespread use of lies have blinded him to his true self. In scene I, Polonius says, “Your bait of falsehood takes the carp of truth.” Shakespeare uses the metaphor of a “bait of falsehood” luring “the carp of truth” to emphasize that Polonius believes it is okay to tell lies to find the truth. These words are ironic coming out of Polonius’s mouth because it sounds like he is trying to justify the use of lies. By convincing himself that his dishonourable methods are in service of a noble pursuit (seeking the truth), he lies to himself. Living as a high-school student in today’s world where the ultimate goal seems to be college, it is very easy for a student to exaggerate their experiences for
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