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Polonius Tragedy In Hamlet

Shakespeare’s Hamlet is a tale of betrayal and revenge, attrition and tragedy. One sees this theme throughout the interactions between each character. While the play’s main tragedy is the death of King Hamlet at the hand of his brother Claudius, the accidental death of Polonius truly initiates the demise of the others. In a tragedy, audiences often seek someone to hold responsible. Polonius is a trusted advisor, Lord Chamberlain, for the king and queen. He has one son and one daughter. His son, Laertes, is a classmate and friend of Prince Hamlet. His daughter, Ophelia, holds the prince’s heart and loves his as well. An old, foolish man whose trite and meddlesome personality cost him his life, Polonius is easily the most loathsome character…show more content…
Fretful and full of despair, she enters after having a disconcerting encounter with Hamlet. She explains to her father Hamlet’s actions and his reply, “Come, go we to the king: This must be known… being kept close, might move [more] grief to hide than hate to utter…” introduces his affiliations with the king and queen (2.1.129-131). Polonius is not comforting or compassionate; though it is clear, he has manipulated his daughter Ophelia into rejecting her love for Prince Hamlet. He is more concerned with running to the king than his daughter’s comfort or…show more content…
After sharing his opinions of the prince with the king and queen, he engages Hamlet and asks if he knows him. Hamlet acknowledges Polonius and implies he is a fishmonger. Thus, Polonius falls victim of Hamlet’s sarcasm and witty double entendres, inferring he is a pimp (Hacht, 198). This comment goes unnoticed by the lord, as he is more concerned with the recognition of his title and the idea that Hamlet’s insanity is due to his love of Ophelia.
Polonius’ trite and meddlesome behavior leads to his death. Explaining that Hamlet is heading to see the queen, Polonius expresses to the king his intentions to listen in on the queen’s scolding of Hamlet. He goes to Queen Gertrude’s room,

The Ethics of Artificial Intelligence

Abstract: This paper is about the ethics of giving computers decision-making capacities. Some possible roles of decision-making computers are articulated, along with the effects of placing computers in such positions. The essential ingredients to creating an effective decision-making computer are discussed.

Kevin Bowyer, author of Ethics In Computing, advances a question as the only ethical dilemma unique to the field of computing. (Bowyer 3) He asks: “how much decision-making should be entrusted to a machine?” In this paper I’d like to explore some of the issues around this topic, which I will generalize into the question “is human judgment essential to a decision-making process?” After discussing the impacts the answer to this question could have on human institutions, I will ultimately conclude that human judgment is a critical ingredient to decision-making, but not necessarily at a fixed point in the process.

First it is useful to discuss in what sense computers can be used in a decision-making process. As computers approximate more and more the range of capacities that humans are capable of, the more they will be able to take an active role in organizing our lives. Consider, for example, the role of a bank’s computer systems. While one might argue that computerized record-keeping is more of a tool rather than an active force, bookkeeping used to be an activity entirely reserved for people. Therefore, it constitutes an activity that has been mechanized in some way. It is not inaccurate to say that the pen has been passed from human hands to digital ones. Practically, what are the differences? Perhaps human bookkeeping allowed a degree of supervision, e.g. illegal activity was easier to keep track of. (However, it could also work the other way, and the efficiency of computers could introduce this sort of monitoring.) The point of this example is to demonstrate that every action–or lack thereof–a person takes can be said to contribute to some sort of decision. If a bookkeeper caught a mistake or suspicious activity, he might be able to act in a way that a computer cannot.

Taken from the above perspective, there isn’t a whole lot that computers couldn’t have a hand in. Some examples include computers that auto-fix problems in a vehicle, or even in the trajectory of a missile; automated defense systems in a building; programs that monitor user activity, perhaps in a company computer; auto-pilots on airplanes; or medical computers that administer drugs or otherwise take action automatically on a patient.

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