Saturday, November 7, 2015

Polonius

In class yesterday we were talking about Polonius's character. I think the general conclusion was that he was really concerned with his own reputation and gave his son some really cliche advice, implying that he may not care all that much. However, I kind of actually see him as a caring guy. He did give his son some really common advice, but honestly who's parents don't do that? I'm sure your parents have all told you to "follow your dreams," "study hard,"not drink and drive," etc. My parents always tell me that they give me all this common advice because they feel obligated and really care. So, I think the same kind of thing may be going on with Polonius. Also, he may actually be looking out for Ophelia when he tells her to stay away from Hamlet. He may change as we read more, but so far, Polonius doesn't seem like too bad of a guy to me.

5 comments:

Madison Cummings said...

I do see both sides to the argument, but I would have to agree that so far Polonius just seems like a concerned father who does not understand the best way to give out advice. He may seem like he is coming off as a little harsh, but that is because we are hearing it from a teenage perspective. I think he is mostly just concerned for his children and, although I don't think it is the best way to get his point across, Polonius tries to scare and push his children into acting how he thinks. To him, this seems like the smartest thing to do because he feels like he has control over his children and the situation. What he does not understand is that usually when someone is told not to do something, they normally want to do it even more.

Antonio Imbornone said...

I definitely think that Polonius cares more for his own reputation than the virtue of his daughter. However, we are reading Haley from the perspective of a 21st century teenager, when the father-daughter relationship dynamic is much different. I'd assume that it is closer than it would have been in the 1500s. There was much more of a focus on reputation and religion then now. So our assumption that he is merely guiding Ophelia to not embarrass him could be the norm of a father-daughter relationship (at the time). As a guy, I could have a skewed perspective to all of this, but our culture today definitely skews us more.

Abbey said...

Like Madison (Cummings) said, I think Polonius is just a concerned, but sincere, father with good intentions at this point. He doesn't want his little girl to go off into the world and find the person she's going to marry. He, like every father of a young girl today, might see any man as a danger or a threat. Perhaps he fears that she will leave with Hamlet and her perspective of her relationship with her father will change forever. Unfortunately for the reader, this information is not disclosed. I don't know exactly what is going to happen yet, but I think Polonius telling Ophelia "no" will only urge her to go after Hamlet more. I actually looked up what Polonius' name means--it is "derived from a Latin phrase for "reheated cabbage," implying "a boring old man" who sprouts trite rehashed ideas." It makes sense that Polonius' advice might seem cliche, because it is in his name to give advice like that!

master123 said...

I understand everyone's point, but one thin we are all leaving out here is the fact that he insults his little girl the whole time while he is giving her this fatherly advice. I see polonius concer but he could be more repectful of his daughter. I guess in the Middle Ages girls were just scene as dumb little birds.

Cheyenne Dwyer said...

It's interestkng that people can take this so many different ways. for me, it is hard to tell how much he actually cares for Ophelia from what he has said to her. I do however think that he is too concerned about his reputation instead of his daughters happiness. But at the same time, I thought about how it could be really good for his reputation of the two of them did get married, since his family would marry into the royal family. so it could be that he is only doing all of this out of worry and concern for Ophelia, but even if that's true I don't think that he is going about it the right way. Instead of cautioning Ophelia, he insults her and just completely forbids her from talking to Hamlet even though he is not fully aware of the situation and just assumes that he is completely right.