In Hamlet, does Claudius not like or trust Polonius?

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Claudius, in fact, does like and trust Polonius, seeing him as the perfect loyal courtier. Claudius first turns to Polonius before he grants Laertes 's request to return to France. Only after he realizes Polonius agrees to the idea does he give Laertes his permission. Much more significantly,...

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Claudius, in fact, does like and trust Polonius, seeing him as the perfect loyal courtier. Claudius first turns to Polonius before he grants Laertes's request to return to France. Only after he realizes Polonius agrees to the idea does he give Laertes his permission. Much more significantly, he and Gertrude also confide in Polonius about the sensitive subject of their concerns over Hamlet's brooding and are more than willing to listen when he suggests that Hamlet's depression might be due to being in love with Ophelia. Polonius, we come to understand, is their "go-to" person for solving problems. Claudius values his advice.

Polonius is clueless, but Claudius doesn't seem to realize this, and seems instinctively drawn to him as a fellow traveler in the corrupt world of lies and deceits, spying and subterfuge, that is the environment they both swim in because of their mutual desire to get ahead.

Polonius and Claudius are so connected in their devious natures and Polonius such a close confidant that it must have been a sharp blow to Claudius when Hamlet killed Polonius. Although Hamlet did it accidentally, not knowing it was Polonius behind the arras, Claudius likely interpreted as a strong message from Hamlet that he was next.

Although Claudius trusts Polonius as much as he trusts anybody, we should also keep in mind that a character like Claudius, who has attained his position through murder, will never totally trust anyone.

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I don't see why you'd get any reason to think that from the text itself - though it's something that could easily be brought out in a production. And, in Act 1, Scene 2, Claudius is all praise for Polonius:

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.

The head can't function without the heart, the hand can't function without the mouth, and the throne of Denmark can't function without Polonius. Praise indeed from the King.

Later, in Act 2, Scene 2, Polonius asks Claudius directly "what do you think of me?" - and receives this response:

As of a man faithful and honourable.

So I think, if Claudius is suspicious of Polonius, he doesn't really express it openly - and their relationship, on the surface, is friendly. So friendly, in fact, that you wonder whether Polonius might have known about Claudius' murderous plans before they were carried out...

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