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Is Polonius a hypocrite? Does he deserve his fate?Some of Polonius's advice seems...

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Jamie Wheeler | College Teacher | eNotes Employee

Posted September 18, 2007 at 4:44 PM via web

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Is Polonius a hypocrite? Does he deserve his fate?

Some of Polonius's advice seems sound "Neither a borrower nor a lender be," for example.  Yet his actions are for the most part self-serving and pompous.  How do we react or accept a character with such contradicatory moral stances?  Do we pick and choose, cafeteria-style?  What in this character do you find admirable/deplorable?

And finally, did he deserve his fate?? 

 

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bmadnick | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted September 18, 2007 at 6:05 PM (Answer #2)

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Is Polonius a hypocrite? Does he deserve his fate?

Some of Polonius's advice seems sound "Neither a borrower nor a lender be," for example.  Yet his actions are for the most part self-serving and pompous.  How do we react or accept a character with such contradicatory moral stances?  Do we pick and choose, cafeteria-style?  What in this character do you find admirable/deplorable?

And finally, did he deserve his fate?? 

 

This is exactly why I find Polonius to be a hypocritical buffoon. He has no problems switching his allegiance to Claudius and even helps Claudius to try to control Hamlet. He's willing to send spies or spy himself on his own adult children. I find nothing admirable in Polonius, and I do think he deserves his fate. If he had not been spying on Hamlet in Gertrude's room, Hamlet would not have mistaken him for Claudius.

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nedsneebly | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted September 24, 2007 at 5:42 PM (Answer #3)

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I love his most memorable saying " to thy own self be true", but he doesn't live up to it; he's the fakest person in Hamlet. I'm glad Hamlet stabs in the end.

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daveb | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Adjunct Educator

Posted November 16, 2007 at 9:13 AM (Answer #4)

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Agreed with all of the posts. Depending on who's doing the thinking or talking, perhaps everyone that dies in Hamlet deserves it, but anyone that would offer up your children as pawns to help out a king who is corrupt in the first place deserves what they get.

David Becker 

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