In Hamlet, Polonius uses Laertes every sorts that cliché life advice before Laertes leaves for France. Polonius advises Laertes to be balanced, smart, and also honest. In ~ the end of this long-winded speech comes the renowned line "To thine own self it is in true." This is arguably great life advice, however it is also comedic, offered that Polonius has just invested so lengthy telling Laertes exactly how to act and now appears to contradict it all by essentially saying, "Just be yourself."


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offering unsolicited advice appears to it is in a personality trait of the human being in Polonius"s family. In plot 1, step 3 the Shakespeare"s Hamlet, Laertes is preparing to plank a ship to France, which is the paper definition in which lot of the advice-giving occurs in between and amongst Polonius, Laertes,...


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Giving unsolicited advice appears to it is in a personality trait the the human being in Polonius"s family. In action 1, step 3 the Shakespeare"s Hamlet, Laertes is preparing to board a ship to France, which is the paper definition in which lot of the advice-giving occurs in between and amongst Polonius, Laertes, and also Ophelia.

Before Polonius gives advice to Laertes about how come conduct self in France, Laertes very first gives advice to Ophelia about her connection with Hamlet, climate Ophelia offers advice to Laertes about practicing what that preaches. This exchange of advice in between Laertes and also Ophelia might have continued for several much more lines, except that Polonius enters the scene and also interrupts your conversation.

When Polonius enters the scene, the urges Laertes to it is in on his method to the delivery bound because that France.

POLONIUS. However here, Laertes? Aboard, aboard, for shame!The wind sit in the shoulder of her sailAnd you room stay"d for.(act 1, scene 3, currently 58–61)

Then, when the captain, crew, and all of the passenger on the ship wait for Laertes to come aboard, Polonius takes number of minutes to give advice to Laertes, which is more than likely the same advice that Polonius provided to Laertes the previous time, or times, that Laertes went to France—or at any time that Laertes goes all over else, for that matter.

Polonius"s advice come Laertes is therefore clear and direct, and so well-known, that little of what Polonius claims needs further explanation.

POLONIUS. And these couple of precepts in thy memorySee thou character.(act 1, scene 3, present 62–63)

This is one odd heat to the modern eye, and also especially to the contemporary ear, specifically when "character" is pronounced through the focus on the 2nd syllable. This conforms to the iambic pentameter of the line, however it offers the indigenous the sense of being a verb, rather than a noun.

Scholars differ around the translate of the line. Part scholars assert that the line means that Laertes need to remember what Polonius says and apply it come his character, and others contend that "character" refers to writing down Polonius"s advice. Both colleges of assumed agree, however, the Polonius is informing Laertes come remember what he tells him, also though Laertes most likely has currently committed it come memory, having actually heard the exact same speech countless times before.

POLONIUS. Costly thy habit together thy purse have the right to buy,But no express"d in fancy; rich, not gaudy;For the apparel oft proclaims the man,And lock in France of the finest rank and also stationAre the a most select and generous, chef in that.(act 1, scene 3, present 74–77)

Polonius"s advice about clothing seems like something with which Polonius could not problem himself. The just other time that clothing is mentioned in the play is once Hamlet"s mother tells him to "cast her nighted shade off" (act 1, scene 2) for constantly wearing black clothes around the castle, and Hamlet defends his an option of "inky cloak" and "customary suits the solemn black" as "but the trappings and also the suits of woe."

Here, Polonius is saying, "Buy the ideal clothes you have the right to afford however nothing too fancy, because, as they say, "the apparel make the man."" maintaining in mind that Laertes is going to France, especially to Paris—apparently a fashion center at the time, as it is now—Polonius desires Laertes to remember that the upper classes and nobility will judge him by his clothes.

One of Polonius"s most well known maxims, "Neither a borrower no one a lender be," occurs later on in his an extensive lecture, adhered to a couple of lines later by the same famous, "This above all: come thine very own self it is in true" (act 1, step 3).

Notable about Polonius"s advice come Laertes, particularly in the paper definition of Laertes and Polonius"s advice come Ophelia about Hamlet in the same scene and considering the truth that Laertes is going come the "big city" of Paris, is the Polonius offers Laertes no advice whatsoever around his interactions and also relationships with women.

Polonius talks around nothing else v Ophelia, however he doesn"t to speak a word about it to Laertes. Once Laertes exits the scene, because that instance, Polonius can"t withstand asking Ophelia about her relationship with Hamlet, and he then offers her advice around how come behave v him.

Even though Laertes goes come Paris, i beg your pardon is an ext than twelve hundred miles away from Elsinore Castle, Polonius isn"t done giving advice to him. In plot 2, step 1, Polonius send his servant, Reynaldo, to Paris v "this money and these notes," i m sorry "notes" no doubt contain extr advice because that Laertes.

Polonius additionally gives Reynaldo thorough instructions and also advice on exactly how to spy ~ above Laertes, i m sorry is Polonius"s major reason for sending Reynaldo to Paris with the money and notes for Laertes. Polonius just can"t aid himself. He"s obsessed with providing advice come anyone and everyone, native his maid to the king and queen of Denmark.

In the dialogue between Polonius and Reynaldo in act 2, scene 1, there"s a subtle clue around why Polonius gives so lot advice to Laertes about returning to France. Polonius advises Reynaldo about asking too countless questions and probing as well deeply into Laertes"s behavior.

POLONIUS. You must not put an additional scandal ~ above him,That that is open up to incontinency.(act 2, step 1, lines 31–32)

This "scandal" could be the factor that Ophelia tells Laertes to take into consideration his own behavior when he provides her advice about her partnership with Hamlet.

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OPHELIA. Execute not, as some ungracious pastors do,Show me the steep and also thorny method to heaven,Whilst, prefer a puff"d and also reckless libertine,Himself the primrose course of dalliance treadsAnd recks not his very own rede.(act 1, scene 3, currently 50–54)

Ophelia"s recommendation to a "reckless libertine" is intriguing, specifically since Polonius makes no mention of anything also remotely pertained to Laertes"s behavior with females in his advice come him in act 1, scene 3.

Either Polonius doesn"t know around his son"s behavior in France, which seems unlikely, since Polonius later mentions Laertes"s "scandal" to Reynaldo, or Polonius simply doesn"t recognize what to say to him—which never stopped Polonius from providing advice to anyone before—or Polonius subscribes to the patriarchal precept of a male-dominated society that "boys will be boys."