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The Character of Polonius in Shakespeare’s Hamlet

Free Hamlet Essays – The Character of Polonius

Polonius is the chief counsellor to Claudius, and although there is no evidence , it is possible that he had held a position at court under Hamlet’s father, the old King. He is certainly trusted and held in high regard by Claudius, who tells Laertes that his father is extremely important to Denmark:

“The head is not more native to the heart

The hand more instrumental to the mouth

Than is the throne of Denmark to thy father.”

It is tempting to dismiss Polonius as a fool and, as Hamlet calls him a “prating knave”, because of his pomposity and his tedious pedantry, but to do so would be unwise. He is indeed irritating, but he is not stupid. Foolish, perhaps, in his stubborn belief that he knows best what is the cause of Hamlet’s madness, but it is an astute guess, given what he knows about the love affair between Ophelia and the prince, and the evidence of the letter which he shows to the King. He is not, however, always likeable and it is unclear as to whether his children love him, or just accord him healthy respect. There seems to be evidence that it is Laertes to whom Ophelia feels closer than to her father, as it is he whom she tells about Hamlet’s affections and there is a terse note in Polonius’s dialogue with his daughter, especially after the nunnery scene, when her evident distress is curtly dismissed by her father. Polonius is clearly unscrupulous about setting spies on his children, as we see when Reynaldo is sent to Paris to check Laertes’ behaviour. It is also obvious that Polonius is well aware of Ophelia’s relationship with Hamlet and that he has been reported to about it, so presumably his spies are at work in the court all the time. He is quick to suggest that Ophelia is used as a decoy to observe Hamlet’s “madness” and as we have seen , seems unmoved by her distress when Hamlet renounces her.

Tom Sawyer – No Average Young Boy

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer: No Average Young Boy

To say that Tom Sawyer was an average young boy growing up in Illinois would be an understatement. “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer”, written by Mark Twain is an absolutely enchanting book. Every episode is more exciting than the prior one, which is why this book receives five stars.

Set in the old Southwest in an almost poverty stricken shabby village called St. Petersburg. The whole town knows one another, and of course they know each other’s business. Sunday was the holy day when everyone would gather at the church to compare notes on the past weeks events. The children had to rely on making good clean fun from meager surroundings. Swimming, fishing, picnicking, and playing “Hide n’ seek” in the long hot summer days were all good ways to pass the time. But Tom was more venturesome than that, and with his best friend Huckleberry Finn, he lived everyday to its fullest. Tom had a little more schooling than Huck, but Huck was growing up on the streets and surviving just fine considering that his father was a drunk. Tom had a good home, being raised by his Aunt Polly, (his mother died so her sister took him in). He also lived with his half-brother, Sid, whose main objective in life was to make Tom’s miserable by ratting him out all the time, and his quiet cousin Mary.

His antics were ingenious though. The way that he turned whitewashing the fence as a punishment into a grand experience for all of the boys in town who couldn’t wait to hold the brush and paint. Tom was not a bad boy, just an inquisitive one who’s mind never rested… always dreaming, and making his dreams sound so good, he could always rope Huck Finn into his escapades. Tom couldn’t lie, and he couldn’t see someone suffer for the sins of another, as seen when he tells the truth about the murder of Dr. Robinson. It took real guts to point the finger at “Injun Joe”, the half-breed, who was also one of the most despicable scoundrels in the town. Tom was also loyal to his friends, and showed that when he wouldn’t tell that Huck Finn was with him that night the doctor was killed in the graveyard. Tom also couldn’t leave Becky Thatcher in the cave when they were lost and she had all but given up hope of being found.

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