Ode To The Janus Faced Polonius English Literature Essay Free Essay

Janus is the Roman God of beginnings and terminations, represented with a double-faced caput, each looking in opposite waies. A worldly politician ever watches his dorsum and Polonius, the male monarch ‘s adviser from Shakespeare ‘s Hamlet gives this construct a whole new significance. His advice to his kids may look like unwanted, hypocritical sentiments, but in fact, dig into a clever frontage put on in order to lead on those around him. His efforts at truth are discredited, but upon analyzing the procedure in deriving those truths, a complex and intriguing adult male is discovered. His ramblings seem dull on the surface, but divulge into a cagey psyche that is invariably believing up new ploies to derive replies.

The tedious observations spouted by Polonius seldom exercise lucidity and his construct of brevity can thwart anyone to demand for “ more affair with less art ” ( II.II.98 ) . He is the most quoted out of the minor characters ( Geller, 2001 ) . This can be seen in his long, round addresss that attempt a accomplishment of spiting out politically right statements as he tries to postulate with Hamlet and Claudius.

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He has a boring wont, stating six words when one would do, and on occasion finds himself rocking off from the original yarn of the conversation to present nonmeaningful asides. Therefore, by critics, he is rendered a “ doddery old sap ” ( Geller, 2001 ) a few old ages off from aging. Others see him as merely impractical and “ wholly unqualified. This repute of a “ foolish, chattering rogue ” allows Polonius to ambush the lowered defense mechanisms of people in his presence doing it easier to obtain information. His verboseness may be a clever trickery to forestall the difference that would happen if Claudius were to experience that his inferior was more sharp than he. Polonius enjoys drawing the strings, working his experimental inclinations by concealing in the shadows to listen in on Hamlet in a childly behavior. This is contrasted to his paternal reactivity as he attempts to convert Ophelia that Hamlet ‘s motivations are undignified. However black his qualities, one can non reason that they are n’t fascinating. Polonius reveals features that range from the blameworthy to the worthy, and actions that array tactlessness to valid examination. His regardful manner of speaking to his higher-ups is different from the fluid patters he uses with his kids. He does non fall back to the condescending pleasantries he uses when speaking to others. His function as the male monarch ‘s adviser could non hold been achieved by a simpleton. His behaviors are non one of a sap, but of a complex and all-around adult male.

Politicians have their existent face and the face they show to the populace. Polonius does non desire his statesman face to be blemished by any dirt created by his kids. This is why he gives the dual criterion to Laertes in Act I. He wants to be portrayed as a loving male parent concerned about the public assistance of his boy, but at the same clip throws in advice that would maintain his ain image from being tarnished. He tells Laertes “ to thine ain ego be true ” ( I.III.79 ) which is a statement that in itself raises a series of inquiries about epistemology. A senile, old sap can non engender such wisdom by accident. The unidimensional can non chew over the elements of truth. Further geographic expedition reveals that Polonius has great deepness and penetrations into himself and the heads of the other characters. Though his advice to Laertes is bogus, Polonius ‘ advocate is reasoned and utile. Sending Renaldo to descry on Laertes is barely a fatherlike concern for the well-being of his lone boy, but a reassurance that his behaviors are equal for the boy of a male monarch ‘s Chamberlain. When Ophelia speaks to him of Hamlet ‘s love he forbids the relationship. Hamlet is the royalty which Polonius advises and a matrimony is impossible in his eyes. He wields the authorization behind the throne, commanding the male monarch and telling the other advisers around. Possibly the idea of his girl going queen and stoping up in a more esteemed place than himself unnerved him. Polonius harshly tells Ophelia to “ tender yourself more dearly ” ( I.III. 107-108 ) . He calls her a cocotte for seeing Hamlet, despite there being no grounds to rebut the claim that she slept with him. Ophelia devotedly tells Polonius that Hamlet “ made many stamps of his fondness towards [ her ] ” ( I.III.99-100 ) . He in bend, confuses her with a series of boring wordplaies by altering significances of ‘tenders ‘ as coins, farther tie ining her a cocotte. These schemes of coercion are redolent of a politician. His trueness to the province comes before his kids because his nexus to greater power is through the male monarch, non his household.

Polonius has a craft head, persistently coming up with ways to happen the replies, largely by the technique of descrying. He searches for cause and consequence. “ I have found / The really cause of Hamlet ‘s madness ” ( II.II.48-49 ) , he does non accept facts, but seeks to detect his ain truth. He disregards his girl ‘s feelings in Act III when he tries to associate Hamlet ‘s lunacy to the rejected love dealt by Ophelia. When he voices this ground to the male monarch and queen, Gertrude expresses irritation and defeat at his deficiency of a bottom-line and Claudius is new to the kingship and seems unmindful to these ramblings, merely seeking counsel from his head adviser. The male monarch is interested on Polonius ‘ linkage of Hamlet ‘s insanity to Ophelia ‘s love, but the queen discredits his appraisals as mere blather. However, the lengths Polonius goes to prove out his theories through a batch of examining inquiries can non be the workss of a simple adult male. His nature leads him to distrust, fraudulence and misrepresentation which are unfortunate in one who deals with human dealingss with such coarseness. Readers can non sympathise with Polonius when he is portrayed so negatively, merely seeing a infantile old adult male whom they can anticipate amusing alleviation from, whose ceaseless ramblings and comedic misconceptions make him more of a gag than an rational philosopher. It makes his decease unsurprising instead than the jarring event it ought to be. Polonius deserved some penalty for his tampering and intriguing, but surely non decease at the custodies of Hamlet.

Polonius states that “ [ he ] played Julius Caesar ” ( III.II.94 ) and was stabbed by concealed plotters. The sarcasm is that he dies Caesar ‘s decease as a concealed plotter, go oning to command events even after his decease. It is his casualty that led to Ophelia ‘s decease and subsequently to the deceases of Laertes, Gertrude, and Hamlet. If stimulating both Alliess and enemies to chew over the significance of truth, if the concern for one ‘s kids under a mask of personal image protection and a huge scope of personality traits are what comprises a sap, so Hamlet was right in his premise. Nevertheless, few could rationally asseverate that such in-depth virtues do non bring on the impression of a sap, but that of an insightful, three dimensional human being. Polonius represents putrefaction and decay, but farther survey exposes a character that will stay an elaborately designed prototype of wisdom.

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