Hamlet Plays Polonius All Too Well

William Shakespeare

Hamlet Plays Polonius All Too Well

Although in the summary above, eNotes properly reports that, "Polonius and Hamlet have a brief conversation full of non sequiturs and punned insults, which confirms Polonius’ opinion regarding the prince’s madness" and that the conversation is full of "vulgar innuendos," this does not suffice in demonstrating Hamlet's avid skill of discourse present in this scene.  Hamlet fully succeeds in both (1) putting "an antic disposition on" in seeming crazy in front of Polonius and (2) proving Polonius to be the fool as a result. From Hamlet insisting that Polonius is "a fishmonger" to his revelation of his reading about "slanders," Hamlet proves once again to be the smarts of the royal family of Denmark.  Even Polonius, once taken, acts more confused than ever until he gets an inkling of being taken advantage of by saying, "Though this be madness, yet there is method in't." (This is discussed in full during the next eNotes Insight.) Of course, the renditions of this scene are as various and sundry as the number of times Hamlet has been portrayed on the stage and screen.