Love At First Sight

Polonius is impulsively narrow-minded.  His reactions to newfound information lead him astray to chase his own imaginations of what he thinks is reality.  For example on page 39, after Ophelia reveals her bizarre encounter with Hamlet in her room, Polonius says, “This is the very ecstasy of love.”  Here Polonius deduces that Hamlet is lovesick.  Earlier in Act 1 Scene 3, Polonius cautions Ophelia that Hamlet’s “light” is not true love (a fire as he calls it), so with this statement he contradicts himself, showing his spontaneous decision making “skills” and his tendency to jump to conclusions.  Polonius never even bothers to admit he was wrong about Hamlet’s love and does not apologize to his daughter.  Likewise, he does not think to first console with Hamlet about this very personal “problem,” but rather quickly rushes off to tell the King that he is mad.  By doing so, he does not consider any other possibilities to Hamlet’s odd behavior because he believes that clearly whatever is going on with Hamlet must have something to do with his daughter and surely not the death of his father or the quick remarriage of his mother to his uncle.  In this way, Polonius craves for attention, and strives to be on the King’s good side, which reflects on his impulsiveness and narrow-mindedness.  Ultimately, Polonius’s quickness to come to conclusions and his narrow-mindedness may lead the king, queen, and himself on a wild-goose chase that conceal Hamlet’s true intentions for what is to come.


One comment

  1. For starters, I absolutely love your title. The title creatively highlights your main point which is certainly not as easy to do as it sounds. Impulsiveness is something that we all experience which makes your mention of this trait within Polonius very relatable. Looking at the story with this new light really helps me understand Polonius’ decisions with more depth. For instance, with this interpretation we can understand more thoroughly the interactions between the King and Polonius. Somebody who is constantly trying to please somebody will inevitably act impulsively as you mentioned. Very strong interpretation, good work!

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