Polonius' Observations On Hamlet's Madness Essay

1231 words - 5 pages

Polonius' Observations on Hamlet's Madness

 

 The obedient Ophelia has followed her father's injunctions and repelled Hamlets letters and denied him access to her. Polonius is certain that these rebuffs have driven Hamlet mad. His only action is to inform the king and queen, and to let them decide what the next move will be. In Polonius lengthy discussion with the king and queen he explain the situation:

 

 Polonius: Your noble son is mad.

 Mad call I it; for, to define true madness,

                        What is't but to be nothing ...view middle of the document...

 Polonius: Mad for thy love?

 Ophelia: My lord, I do not know, But truly I do fear it.

 (Act II scene I)

 

 It is interesting to note that Ophelia does not tell her father that Hamlet is mad because of Ophelia denied love, but that Polonius automatically assumes this.

 

 Polonius: This is the very ecstasy of love,

 Whose violent property fordoes itself

 And leads the will to desperate undertakings

 As oft as any passion under heaven

 That does afflict our natures.

 What, have you given him any hard words of late?

 Ophelia: No, my good lord; but, as you did command,

 I did repel his letters and denied

 His access to me.

 

 The obedient Ophelia has followed her father's injunctions and repelled Hamlets letters and denied him access to her. Polonius is certain that these rebuffs have driven Hamlet mad. His only action is to inform the king and queen, and to let them decide what the next move will be. In Polonius lengthy discussion with the king and queen he explain the situation:

 

 Polonius: Your noble son is mad.

 Mad call I it; for, to define true madness,

 What is't but to be nothing else but mad?

 ...

 Polonius: I went round to work

 And my young mistress thus I did bespeak:

 'Lord Hamlet is a prince, out of thy star.

 This must not be.' And then I prescripts gave her,

 That she should lock herself from his resort,

 Admit no messengers, receive no tokens.

 Which done, she took the fruits of my advice,

 And he, repulsed, a short tale to make,

 Fell into a sadness, then into a fast,

 Thence to a watch, thence into a weakness,

 Thence to a lightness, and, by this declension, I

 note the madness wherein now he raves,

 And all we mourn for.

 King. Do you think 'tis this?

 

 Queen. it may be, very like

 

 At this point, it seems that Polonius has convinces both the King and the Queen that the true reason of hamlets madness is in fact Ophelia denial to Hamlet's affections. Even though we as the reader know that Polonius is not completely right, nor completely wrong, we develop a very clear understanding of the type of character that Polonius is.

 

            From what Polonius says, we can tell that he...

Other Essays Like Polonius' Observations on Hamlet's Madness

Ophelia's Role In William Shakespeare's Hamlet

1048 words - 5 pages . "How now, Ophelia?" Her role is tenuous enough, the troubled Hamlet's starry love interest, who, upon discovering his rejection spawned of false madness (and his murder of her father), goes quite insane and drowns herself.There is more to this role, of course, as there so often is. Such questions and questions: was lovely Ophelia Hamlet's divine inspiration? His muse? His one true love? Sources point to (no) yes. But was she, in fact, so impossibly

Hamlet Character Analysis Of K

1179 words - 5 pages on their loyalty and respect for his position, in addition to their long-standing friendship with Hamlet, in order to get their cooperation.When Polonius presents the idea to Claudius that Hamlet's madness is due to his daughter (Ophelia) rejecting Hamlet's affections, he reserves judgment on this notion. Claudius needs assurance, and recognizes an opportunity to get to the bottom of this situation. He proceeds to manipulate Polonius into spying

Humour in Tragedy

2567 words - 11 pages crab you could go backward", he advanced towards Polonius, causing him to walk backwards. Those words and the actions on the stage revealed Hamlet to be a daring young man”. Hamlet makes Polonius look like a fool when he criticizes him with his words, and Polonius doesn't know that he is being fooled. Hamlet’s friends Roz and Gill are sent by Claudius, Hamlets Uncle and new step father, to figure out why Hamlet is acting so strange. When

King Hamlet: the Devil in Disguise

1618 words - 7 pages saw this as its perfect opportunity to begin the first stage of its plan. It was aware of Hamlet's hatred toward his uncle Claudius, who came between Hamlet and his rightful seat on the throne. It was aware of Hamlet's disgust with his mother's incestuous marriage to her brother-in-law. And it was aware of Hamlet's despair over losing his father who he dearly loved and admired. In Brannagh's film, we see Francisco (the guard outside the

The Vanity Of Polonious In Hamlet By William Shakespeare

1205 words - 5 pages . He even uses hunters' terminology. "Windlasses" means an indirect approach in hunting. He talks of the "bait of falsehood" - being dishonest to the "prey" - Laertes - and even to the people who are to help him catch the "prey" - the acquaintances. Polonius wants to catch "the carp of truth". This topic is echoed later on when Hamlet calls Polonius a "fishmonger" (II. ii 190). Carp, a big and hard-to-catch fish, symbolizes value and profit. However

Madness in Shakespeare's Hamlet

856 words - 4 pages Madness may be “mental incapacity caused by an unmentionable injury.” Such wounds often are not easily perceived but may be revealed in time of stress. Hamlet’s question, “have you a daughter?”(Act II. Sc2 182) Polonius about the Prince’s emotional state. What is hidden will surely be told to Cloudius by his adviser. Laertes’ search for revenge is sharper proof that madness in degrees of publicity causes harm to the

Education and Training

999 words - 4 pages Ghost of his father. The Ghost reveals that he was murdered by Claudius and urges Hamlet to take revenge. Hamlet reluctantly agrees, and after the Ghost disappears, he tells Horatio that he might need to appear mad in order to accomplish his goals. Hamlet's apparent madness brings discord into the court. His relationship with Ophelia, the daughter of interfering courtier Polonius and sister of Laertes, falls apart, partly because of the

Revenge or Madness All of It Makes You Crazy

1369 words - 6 pages a mature Hamlet who doesn't want to be a Kyd. But the practical problem is that Claudius never seems to be in a moment's danger…." Billington felt Pennington erred on side of caution: "Hamlet's fear of emotional excess seems to be confining Pennington himself." Ophelia really goes madness which ultimately leads to her death this also leaves a question of whether it was an accident or suicide. The main motivation behind Ophelia’s madness is

This essay is about Hamlet by William Shakespear and how the story would be different if Ophelia was closer to Hamlet in the social hierarchy of Denmark

400 words - 2 pages the marriage, then there would be no reason to prove that his future son-in-law was mad, since that could deter the marriage. He would be more likely to prove that Hamlet is actually sane. Polonius would not die, at least not in the way he did, because there would be no reason for him to spy on Gertrude and Hamlet.Laertes would also refrain from telling his sister to basically ignore the man she loves. Without restrictions from her father and

Hamlet Study Guide- Plot Summary, Character Analysis of Hamlet, Major Themes of the Play, Techniques in the Play and Key Quotes

2615 words - 11 pages usurpation of the throne • Polonius requests that Ophelia shun Hamlet’s attentions • Hamlet sees his father’s ghost and learns of his murder at the hands of Claudius • Vows to avenge his father’s death and decides to feign madness • Ophelia tells Polonius about Hamlet’s intrusion into her room • Rosencrantz and Guildenstern arrive to find the cause of Hamlet’s madness • Voltemand and Cornelius return with news that Fortinbras has retreated

Was Hamlet Faking His Insanity?

701 words - 3 pages madness”, and that if Horatio notices any strange behaviour from Hamlet, it is because he is putting on an act. Some of the other people also come to notice that Hamlet is not crazy. Claudius says that Hamlet's "actions although strange, do not appear to stem from madness." Also Polonius says that Hamlet's actions and words have a "method" to them, there might be a reason behind them, and they make sense over all. Through the play Hamlet looks

Related Papers

The Tragical History Of Hamlet Essay

673 words - 3 pages Introduction of the play The Tragical History of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, or more simply Hamlet, is a tragedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written between 1599 and 1601. The play, set in the Kingdom of Denmark, recounts how Prince Hamlet exacts revenge on his uncle Claudius for murdering the old King Hamlet(Claudius's brother and Prince Hamlet's father) and then succeeding to the throne and marrying Gertrude(the King

Madness And Insanity In Shakespeare's Hamlet Is Hamlet Mad?

2504 words - 11 pages Hamlet's sanity will be ingrained in the audience's mind.   The first time we see Hamlet after he decides to put on his "antic disposition" is later in the scene, when Polonius is sent to find out what he can about him. Hamlet comes on, and, using his antic disposition as cover, ridicules him:             Polonius: Do you know me, my lord?        &nbsp

Moral And Psychological Atmosphere Essay

1922 words - 8 pages pawn in the king's game to test hamlet's madness. She is told to put on an act of reading a book which is so superfluous that in the next line Hamlet appear, he sees through it immediately and sense that the king and Polonius are hiding somewhere watching the whole conversation thus prompting Hamlet to ask " where is your father?" It is thus Ophelia's image of the sacrificial lamb, the unknowing victim, the helpless pawn being manipulated

Hamlet's Madness In William Shakespeare's Play

1476 words - 6 pages insanity and madness. The approach taken by Shakespeare in Hamlet has generated countless different interpretations of meaning, but it is through Hamlet's struggle to confront his internal dilemma, deciding when to revenge his father's death, that the reader becomes aware that Shakespeare is attempting to comment on the influence that one's state of mind can have on one's actions. Hamlet has always been seen as a