I want to ask about Hamlet 2.2. How effective is Polonius as a bearer of news?  Is Claudius convinced?  

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

In the second scene of Act 2 of Hamlet, Polonius is truly the bearer of news; however, he is most certainly not effective and, in fact, proves himself to be the fool of the play.  Gertrude and Claudius have been waiting impatiently for Polonius to reveal any word about the reason behind Hamlet's madness.  (In the previous act, Claudius and Gertrude send Polonius out to spy on Hamlet.)  When it is the appropriate time for Polonius to share the news, Polonius does nothing but bungle his words:

My liege and madam, to expostulate / What majesty should be, what duty is, / Why day is day, night night, and time is time, / Were nothing but to waste night, day, and time. / Therefore, since brevity is the soul of wit, / And tediousness the limbs and outward flourishes,...

(The entire section contains 391 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team