How does Polonius act as a foil to Hamlet?

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pirateteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

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Polonius and Hamlet are foils because they both act quickly and irrationally, but with different results.  Hamlet often speaks his thoughts aloud, while Polonius just ends up rambling and confusing people.  Both of them are quick to jump to conclusions, while Hamlet thinks through these decisions, Polonius quickly assumes that the reason Hamlet's upset is because of his daughter, Ophelia.  Instead of investigating it, Polonius runs to King Claudius and explains his opinions.  While speaking to his mother, Hamlet hears a noise and quickly assumes it is Claudius hiding behind a tapestry and stabs through the curtain.  When the body falls to the ground, we see that he has in fact killed Polonius.

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