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|GR: Masks & Questions
Written by Jezkalyn
(5/29/2003 9:26 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, GR: Claudius says he owes Polonius, penned by Ana L
Incidentally, so does Hamlet. I point this out not to defend Polonius or Claudius, only because this play is all about questions that are answered or left unanswered. IMO, Hamlet starts off his "madness" as a mask in order to get more information about his fathers murder. It isn't until after the The Mousetrap when he thinks he has Claudius that he drops it to some extent.
] 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 a bit of a literal interpretaion. By the "throne of Denmark" I believe Claudius is using the Royal "we" and doesn't mean the literal throne or kingship. In other words, he is saying "Than [I] to thy father" rather than "Than [my position] to the father."
] 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.
I do agree that this is as close as he gets to acknowledging some sort of closeness to Polonuis. It certainly could be taken that far by a director if they chose to "go there," but I'm not sure I take it as catagorical proof that Polonius secured Claudius the kingship or even helped with the murder. After all, there was an election here. Polonius may have used his influence there, but there is no way to know how influential he would have been with those that vote.
Once again, it comes down to the questions (as Laraine pointed out some time ago) that are answered or unanswered in this play. This is one of the big ones.
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