What is Polonius's job in Hamlet?

Polonius's job is chief counselor to the king.

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In Shakespeare's classic play Hamlet, Polonius plays the role of chief counselor to the king and is Ophelia and Laertes's father. He also attempts to help Claudius and Gertrude solve the mystery of Hamlet's strange behavior. Polonius's entertaining character provides the tragic play with much-needed comic relief ...

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In Shakespeare's classic play Hamlet, Polonius plays the role of chief counselor to the king and is Ophelia and Laertes's father. He also attempts to help Claudius and Gertrude solve the mystery of Hamlet's strange behavior. Polonius's entertaining character provides the tragic play with much-needed comic relief, and Hamlet continually ridicules him to his face.

Polonius is also a loquacious individual who is full of aphorisms and quick to give advice. His long-winded, tedious speeches reveal his self-certainty and annoy the other characters. Despite Polonius's humorous personality, he is politically adept and has risen to the prestigious role of chief counselor to the king. Polonius was King Hamlet's counselor before Claudius usurped the throne, and the royal family apparently values his opinion.

Acting as King Claudius's chief counselor, Polonius attempts to help him discover the source of Prince Hamlet's madness and is convinced that his odd behavior is a result of unrequited love. Polonius instructs his daughter to return the gifts Hamlet has given her and to immediately end their relationship. He then spies on Ophelia and Hamlet alongside Claudius and is even willing to hide behind an arras in Gertrude's room to overhear her conversation with Hamlet.

While Polonius is spying on Hamlet, the prince mistakes him for Claudius and stabs him behind the arras. Polonius's death likely influences Ophelia to commit suicide and motivates Laertes to seek revenge.

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