In Act 2, Scene 2, why does Hamlet say to Polonius, "You cannot, sir, take from me anything that I more willingly part withal—except my life, except my life, except my life" (212-14)?

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In Shakespeare's Hamlet, Polonius is trying to better understand what Hamlet is thinking. He is certain that the young man is insane, and he is also sure that he knows the reason for it: Hamlet loves Ophelia; his love for Ophelia has drove him "mad."  

Polonius asks Hamlet:

Will you walk out of the air, my lord? (217)

This can be translated to mean, "Will you come in out of the air?" Polonius may be asking him to come in where it is warmer. It is a polite inquiry with regard to Hamlet's comfort.

Hamlet, suspicious of Polonius (because he is loyal to the new King), and delivering double entendres under the guise of madness, sarcastically asks:

Into my grave? (218)

Polonius misses the "joke." Polonius ponders the astute reply Hamlet has delivered and is amazed how like sanity madness often seems.

Polonius, sure he has discovered something meaningful about Hamlet's madness, excuses himself:

My lord, I will most humbly take my leave of you. (224-225)

Hamlet is being sarcastic here again. And while...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 708 words.)

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