What comments does Hamlet make that are intended for Polonius in Act 3 of Shakespeare's, Hamlet?

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kiwi eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Hamlet clearly wants Polonius and his new stepfather to understand the implications of the plot of the play, The Mousetrap he has organised for entertainment in Act 2, Scene III. He is looking to reveal that he is aware of their fatal plotting and to provoke their consciences.


KING: Have you heard the argument? Is there no offence in't?

HAMLET: No, no! They do but jest, poison in jest; no offence i'
the world.(225)


Hamlet is deliberately bawdy and inappropriate towards Ophelia, Polonius’ daughter, to anger him for conspiring with his stepfather. His lewd remarks to her are delivered well within earshot of Polonius.


QUEEN: Come hither, my dear Hamlet, sit by me.

 HAMLET: No, good mother. Here's metal more attractive.

 POLONIUS: O, ho! do you mark that?(105)


Hamlet is deliberately using the play within a play to show Claudius and Polonius that he knows of the murder of his father-

Why, let the strucken deer go weep,(260)
The hart ungalled play;
For some must watch, while some must sleep:
Thus runs the world away.


Hamlet certainly wants Polonius to know that he is aware of the murder of his father. When he stabs Polonius from behind the arras he clearly states his contempt for the advisor.

 How now, a rat? [Draws.] Dead for a ducat, dead!