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|GR: Creepy Polonius
Written by Christine T.
(5/18/2003 4:10 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, GR: About that Polonius, penned by Barbara
Every time I read or watch Hamlet, Polonius gives me the creeps more and more. It's bizarre how much control he has over his children, and how he spies on them. First, there's the scene where he warns Ophelia away from Hamlet. He actually gets pretty explicit and lewd, telling him not to "tender [him] a fool" (I.3.118), among other phrases. In the way he tells her that Hamlet will pretty much tell her anything she wants to hear, he cannot be unpracticed in these arts himself. He seems like a guileless old man, but I don't believe it.
The creepiest part is the first scene in Act II, when he is sending Reynaldo to spy on Laertes in France. I can understand overprotective parents, but this is just too much! I can't believe how he commands him to slander his son's name ("what forgeries you please") in order to find out what he is up to in Paris. If he will go to these lengths to check up on his kids, can he really be ignorant of what is going on in Elsinore? I wonder how much he knew of what was going on between Claudius and Gertrude before the King was murdered, and I also wonder what he knew about the murder itself. Could he have known it was murder, and that Claudius did it?
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