Hamlet Character Analysis

Character : Polonius

Relationship To Other Characters

  • Father of Laertes and Ophelia.
  • Right hand man to Claudius

Act 1

Key Dialogue : “Affection! Pooh, you speak like a green girl, Unsifted in such perilous circumstance. Do you believe his “tenders,” as you call them?” (scene 3, Page 4)

In this quote from Polonius, He is telling His daughter Ophelia that Hamlet does not really love her.

Other characters' descriptions : “Have you your father’s leave? What says Polonius?”- (scene 2, page 5) Claudius. showing he is powerful and wise by wanting Polonius' opinion.

Character Traits : “Here, I give you my blessing again. And just try to remember a few rules of life…” (Scene 3, Page 3) Polonios is very wise and loves his son alot.

Motivation for Actions : Polonius acts as if his duty is solely to his country since he is part of the government, but i think he mostly wants his children and family to be safe, happy, and succesful.

Vocab : Polonius' partisan ways are evident in his actions.

Because of the filial love Polonius has for Ophelia, he doesn't want anyone to hurt her.

Claudius asked if Laertes had Polonius permission to go to college, when Laertes vouchsafed him for permission to leave.

Act 2

Key Dialogue : Having ever seen in the predominate crimes The youth you breathe of guilty, be assured He closes with you in this consequence. (scene 1, page 2) In this he is telling Reynaldo to go and spy on his son Laertes. This quote is Polonius telling him if they have seen laertes doing any of these bad things, it will only be natural for them to agree.

Other characters' descriptions :“As of a man faithful and honorable.” (scene 2, Page 6) In this quote Claudius is telling Polonius his opinion of him.

Character Traits : "We’re doing this wisely and intelligently, indirectly, finding out things by roundabout means. That’s how you’ll find out what my son is up to in Paris. You get my point, don’t you?" (Scene 1, Page 3) This is Polonius being Very Sneaky, and Nosy.

Motivation for Actions : Polonius acts as if he needs to be involved in every aspect of his familys life. He wants them to be sucessful but it causes im to control them.

Vocab : Polonius contrives a plan to send Reynaldo to spy on his son Laertes at college.

Act 3

Key Dialogue : “It should work. But I still believe that his madness was caused by unrequited love.” (Scene 1, Page 7) In this quote Polonius' is still stuck on the fact that Love is the reason for Hamlet's madness.

Other characters' descriptions : "What’s this, a rat? I’ll bet a buck he’s a dead rat now" (scene 4, Page 2). In this quote Polonius is referred to by Hamlet as a rat.

Character Traits : "I hear him coming. Quick, let’s hide, my lord." (scene 1, page 3) In this quote Polonius is being Sneaky once again by ease dropping in on a conversation.

Motivation for Actions : Polonios Continually acts as if he knows whats going on with everyone. He truly belive that love is the reason for hamlet’s madness and wants to prove that to everyone.

Vocab : Polonius was killed with Hamlets Rapier.

Act 4

Key Dialogue : “Whatever happens, happens, but I’ll get revenge for my father’s murder.” (scene 5, page 7) This is a quote that Laertes said, but it is about Polonius, his father.

Other characters' descriptions : “I can’t help crying when I think of him being laid in the cold ground.” (Scene 5, Page 4) He was loved by his daughter.

Character Traits : Although Polonius is dead, he still holds the character traits of Intelligence, devotions, and being loved.

Motivation for Actions : In this act, Ophelia( Polonius’ daughter) commits suiced. Polonius motiveded her to that through his death.

Act 5

Key Dialogue : “Don’t forget our talk last night, and try to be patient. We’ll take care of this problem soon.” (Scene 1, Page 13) This quote is from Claudius, speaking to Laertes. It is about getting the revenge for Polonius' death.

Other characters' descriptions : "You’re not responsible for my death and my father’s, and I’m not responsible for yours." (Scene 2, Page 16) In this quote Laertes tells Hamlet that He and Polonius are both innocent in being responsible for murder of anyone.

Character Traits : Although Polonius is dead, he now has the character trait of being innocent in the death of anyone.

Motivation for Actions : In this act, Laertes was motivated to fight hamlet, because of polonius death. Polonius motivated him to do that through dying by hamlet.

Character's Ultimate Goal

Polonius had a very devoted heart to his country, and therefor was devoted to king Claudius. That resulted in him trying to help figure out what was the matter with Hamlet. Once Hamlet and Ophelia started having some problems, Polonius strongly believe that Hamlets cause for his madness was Love. His ultimate goal then becomes to prove to everyone that Love is the cause of Hamlet's madness. This causes Polonius to sneak around a lot, and results in being the reason for his death.

Most prevalent obstacle your character faces in Hamlet

The most prevalent obstacle Polonius faces in the story would definitely be sneaking around. He is always trying to sneak in on conversations to find information. He struggles doing so because people tend to notice he is there. The act of sneaking around leads to his death. That is why I believe this is his most prevalent obstacle.