The Insanity Of Polonius In William Shakespeare's Hamlet

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In Shakespeare’s Hamlet, following the suspected murder of his father, the former king, young Prince Hamlet acts in a crazed way throughout his interactions with those around him in an attempt to seek revenge for his father. His intentional and deceitful displays of madness are received strangely from those who encounter it, leading them to have differing opinions on the cause of Hamlet’s supposed insanity. Polonius, the king’s primary counselor, has a conversation with Hamlet whilst Hamlet is acting strangely, and Hamlet repeatedly belittles and criticizes Polonius, initially telling Polonious he believed the counselor was “A fishmonger” (Shakespeare 7). In addition to the judgements, Hamlet also makes several confusing statements and references, explaining to …show more content…

After listening to Hamlet, Polonius reveals aspects of his own character and simultaneously explains his belief behind the cause of Hamlet’s lunacy. He believes Hamlet’s actions are caused by Hamlet “still harping on my daughter… he is far gone, far gone,” and then explaining that he too in his youth “suffered much extremity for love” (20-25). This is significant, as Polonius’ reports his findings back to the king and queen, highlighting love as the cause of Hamlet’s madness, directly influencing the decisions that the king and queen ultimately make regarding Hamlet. Also, Polonius’ interaction with Hamlet is strong in revealing aspects of Polonius’ character, as he is portrayed as oblivious and naive in understanding the true meaning behind both Hamlet’s strange proclamations as well the cause of Hamlet’s madness. Hamlet follows his conversation with Polonius by speaking with his friends, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. The two have been sent by the king and queen to attempt to decipher the causes of Hamlet’s new attitude, however this is unknown to

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