In Hamlet, does Claudius not like or trust Polonius?

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robertwilliam eNotes educator| Certified Educator

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...