In Hamlet we see diverse characters who can be seen as having tragic flaws, Polonium, the loyal advisor to the king and the father of Alerter and Aphelia has a tragic flaw. This is his loyalty to the state and more specifically the king. Polonium’s characteristic of loyalty warrants a flaw given that it leads to his tragic death. In using Aristotle interpretation of a tragedy, Polonium’s loyalty is also tragic. The audience worries that they may have the same fate and are also sympathetic Of Polonium since loyalty is usually a positive attribute.
This play is an exception since loyalty is given to a corrupt king and state. Before Alerter travels back to school he receives advice from his father, Polonium. He appears to be a caring father in Act 1, Scene 3, by first saying: flake each man’s censure, but reserve thy judgment Following this Polonium orders, “Costly thy habit as thy purse can buy, but not expressed in fancy; rich, not gaudy. Poor thy apparel oft proclaims the man. ” This comment suggests that Polonium is greatly concerned With how Alerter appears.
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It indicates that Polonium is worried about how the appearance of his on Will make him kick in the eyes Of the State and king. Shortly after Alerter leaves for school, Polonium sends Ronald, a friend of Alerter, to spy on him. Polonium wants to keep a close eye on his son. But for what reason? Some may argue that he is a caring father but this is unlike Polonium’s character. Polonium is a politician, as we have seen; he advises his son to not look gaudy and rich. A much more likely reason would be that Polonium doesn’t want his image to crumble by his son acting badly.
Ronald is sent to protect Polonium’s image through the eyes of the state and king. In the case of Polonium’s daughter Aphelia, Polonium demonstrates his loyalty to the state with her also, Following Aphelion’s explanation of her relationship with Hamlet in Act 2, Scene l, Polonium advises: *This must be known; Which, being kept close, might move. More grief to hide than hate to utter love” The phrase “hate to utter love” gives the impression that Claudia would hate to hear that Aphelia has a relationship with Hamlet. Polonium would prefer no relationship so that he can stay on the good side of the king.
If Hamlet and Aphelia married, Polonium stature would be elevated. If he were to stay distant he might appear ambitious by possibly attaining success through his daughter. One event that is unavoidable is the death tot Polonium himself. Upon hearing the coming of Hamlet, Polonium hides behind a curtain. After highly emotional discussion between the queen Gertrude and her son Hamlet, Polonium answers the queen’s cry in Act 3, Scene S by hollering, Nathan, ho! Help! ” In overhearing from behind the curtain, the emotional state of Hamlet, Polonium old have been more sane to act differently.
His dedication to the State impulsively causes him to answer the call which ultimately leads to his demise. Polonium appears to have a strong desire to appear in good standing by the state and king. Why did Shakespeare implement this characteristic? Polonium represents slyness and corruption. He controls his children for his benefit and spies on his daughter and the queen. By implementing these characteristics Shakespeare reinforces the malignity of the state. Polonium has to be expelled in order for the state to be cleansed.