Morality And Redemption : An Admirable Treatise On The Nature Of Guilt And Individual Fate
1640 WordsFeb 10, 20177 Pages
Morality and redemption are topics for whose nature there is little consensus. People often allow such statements like “s/he deserved what they got” or “they didn’t deserve that” to define their conversations on a daily basis, all the while taking for granted that they know what such a thing as “deserving” even entails. But what really determines whether or not someone deserves a certain fate, no matter how grave? Do guilt or remorse mitigate one’s deserving whatever fate befalls them, or does someone’s deserving whatever fate befalls them depend solely on what they have done? These are questions as old as humanity, but, fortunately, individuals like Shakespeare seek to respond to them through their works. Shakespeare’s Hamlet provides an…show more content…
Consequently, he fears his daughter’s honor, and by extension his own. When Hamlet begins descending into madness, furthermore, Polonius continues to insist it is due to Ophelia’s rejecting him. Such a proposition essentially reveals that Polonius wants to control the situation of Hamlet’s apparent insanity; if his daughter – a young woman whom Polonius has under his control – can incite such insanity in Hamlet, Polonius effectively puts himself in the center of attention of the king and queen. His habit of hiding behind tapestries, in Act 2 Scene 2 as well as Act 3 Scene 4, in order to secretly observe situations only further reinforces this characterization. These observations all jointly indicate that Polonius is a man preoccupied with assuming a position of power – albeit covert and subtle – within his relationships and situations. Perhaps not unremarkably, Polonius mentions to Hamlet in passing that he, in his youth when an actor, “did enact Julius Caesar,”, a figure, many would argue, shared similar characteristics as Polonius: a defined, but not overt, thirst for power. Understanding Polonius’s character helps set a frame of reference with which to juxtapose him to other characters in the play and their own inner demons; namely, Hamlet, Claudius, and King Hamlet.
After understanding Polonius’s character, it is necessary to examine what, strictly within the mentality of the play, warrants someone’s