Jehan-Georges Vibert - Polonius behind the curtain


Polonius is a character in William Shakespeare's tragedy, Hamlet.


 Polonius is the father to Laertes and Ophelia, and the counselor to Claudius. One of Polonius's most notable scenes is in the beginning, when Laertes is about to depart to France. He gives his son his blessing along with a  series of advice. The things Polonius says have undertones of humor, due to the fact that he is an old man who is seems pretty wrong in everything he says. And although he seems very supportive of Laertes going back to France, at one point in the play he sends a servant to go to France and spy on him to make sure that he's following his advice. 

For most of the play, Polonius is weary that the cause of Hamlet's insanity is the romance between him and his daughter, Ophelia. He's afraid that Hamlet is "madly" in love with her. He forces Ophelia to spy on Hamlet. In one scene, he notices that Hamlet is coming, so he hides behind a curtain while he and Gertrude are talking. When Gertrude cries for help, Polonius also cries for help, and Hamlet thinks that it is Claudius behind the curtain. Seizing the opportunity, Hamlet stabs him through the curtain. There, Polonius is murdered by Hamlet, which causes the insanity and death of Ophelia and the duel between Laertes and Hamlet. 


"This above all- to thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man." — Polonius, 1.3

"Think yourself a baby that you have ta'en these tenders for true pay, which are not sterling. tender yourself more dearly, or (not to crack the wind of the poor phrase, running it thus) you'll tender me a fool." — Polonius, 1.3

"This is the very ecstasy of love, whose violent property fordoes itself and leads the will to desperate undertakings as oft as any passion under heaven that does afflict our natures." — Polonius, 2.1