Polonius Hypocrisy In Shakespeare's Hamlet

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How does Shakespeare present the contrast between honesty and hypocrisy in the first half of the play? Shakespeare clearly presents the theme hypocrisy through the character: Polonius. During the play, although Polonius gives advice to those around him such as his son Laertes and daughter Ophelia, he goes against these values himself, therefore portraying him as a hypocrite, of which is evident in Act 1 Scene 3: “Give thy thoughts no tongue, Nor any unproportioned thought his act. Be thou familiar but by no means vulgar.” Which shows how Polonius states not to ‘let on to what you are thinking too easily and to ever take action on anything you haven't thought through properly and for Laertes to make friends easily, but not to use it in a way of making himself popular.’ This suggests that even though Polonius is trying to look out for his son. The use of the abstract noun ‘thoughts’ suggest how Polonius wants his son to careful in the actions he take to always be sensible. Furthermore, the use of the adjective ‘vulgar’ depicts that Polonius explains to his son to use the friendship he gains wisely and not to use it in the purpose of selfish reasons; later foreshadowing, maybe, the lack of trust as well as the duplicity of Hamlet’s friends:…show more content…
Alongside that, Hamlet expresses how if Claudius’ and Gertrude’s relationship was real, then he would be Hercules, showing how he’s being sarcastic to himself. The use of the phrase ‘no more like…’ shows how he doesn’t want to believe what is taking place at the time, therefore trying to manipulate himself to believe differently. But also, as ‘Hercules’ acts on his impressions and instincts in order to carry out his task, Hamlet doesn’t. Hamlet perpetually questions the world and struggles to apprehend

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