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|GR: Claudius says he owes Polonius
Written by Ana L
(5/28/2003 10:13 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, GR: Agreed, but..., penned by Jezkalyn
] As for Polonius, I guess I have always seen him more as comic relief, and no real threat. There is no cut and dried textual proof of his direct involvement in Claudius' plot - nor to what extent. I have always thought the deeds as purely Claudius', but I am beginning to rethink that.
At first blush, Polonius seems like comic relief but, throughout the play, Polonius hides behind a mask, appearing to be many things. In reality, he lies, manipulates people (including his children) and eavesdrops on others' conversations. Polonius' appearance is not his true nature; behind the mask there lies someone totally different.
In many ways, Polonius and Claudius are two sides of the same coin. Claudius plays the role of an honest and honorable man in front of the council. In Act I, Scene 2, he praises Old King Hamlet and shows his respect for Polonius by publicly giving him the power to let his son Laertes stay or leave for France. He also thanks Polonius in front of the court and says he is responsible for Claudius becoming king:
"The head is not more native to the heart,
I think this is the closest Claudius comes to acknowledging Polonius' complicity in his gaining the throne. Unspoken is the acknowledgement that Polonius possibly also helped with the murder.
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