Saturday, October 26, 2019

Custom Term Papers: Hamlet †is Polonius a Main Character? :: The Tragedy of Hamlet

Hamlet – is Polonius a Main Character?      Ã‚  Ã‚   That Polonius, father of Laertes and Ophelia in Shakespeare’s play Hamlet, is a character of considerable importance is accepted as true by most literary critics. This essay will develop the notion of his vital importance to the drama.    Ruth Nevo in her essay, â€Å"Acts III and IV: Problems of Text and Staging,† states the importance of Polonius to the hero’s evolution in the play on the occasion of Ophelia’s decoying the hero for the sake of observation by Claudius and Polonius:    But it should be noted that we actually need no further explanation for Hamlet’s sudden â€Å"Where’s your father?† than the fact that he has not recently been permitted her presence unchaperoned, if at all. And his apparent change of mood at that point in the scene might well be attributed to recollected angry resentment at Polonius’ interference in his affairs. Indeed, this would seem to be born out by the diatribe on calumny – he being calumniated and exposed by his courtship of Ophelia to the insulting aspersions of such as Polonius. I am inclined to believe that the deeper dramatic purpose of the scene is obscured if Hamlet is made or becomes aware of Polonius at any point in the scene. For if Hamlet knows that Polonius is behind the arras, then he knows that Ophelia is lying when she tells him her father is at home [. . .]. (49)    In the Introduction to Twentieth Century Interpretations of Hamlet, David Bevington presents Polonius as similar to Hamlet in various ways:    Polonius, his [Hamlet’s] seeming opposite in so many ways, is, like Hamlet, an inveterate punster. To whom else but Polonius should Hamlet direct the taunt of â€Å"Words, words, words†? The aged counselor recalls that in his youth he â€Å"suffered much extremity for love, very near this,† and he has been an actor at the university. Polonius too has advice for the players: â€Å"Seneca cannot be too heavy, nor Plautus too light.† When Hamlet jibes at â€Å"so capital a calf† enacting Julius Caesar, killed in the Capitol, he reinforces the parallel to his own playacting and anticipates the slaying of Polonius behind the arras. (4)    Polonius’ entry into the play occurs at the social get-together of the royal court. Claudius has already been crowned; Queen Gertrude is there; Hamlet is present in the black clothes of mourning.

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