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Polonius

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Polonius's accidental Death


Polonius is the father of Ophelia and Laertes as well as King Claudius’s Chief Counsellor. In Polonius’s attempt to spy on Hamlet he is accidently killed by him which leads to Ophelia’s death by suicide. Later it also leads the death of Laertes in a friendly duel for Hamlet to make it up to Laertes though it was not the intention of the duel to begin with.

Only Hamlet and Gertrude are involved when Polonius dies taking place after Hamlet’s play in Gertrude’s room.

The whole intention of Gertrude calling Hamlet to talk was to tell him that his pranks have to end and that she has been standing up for him to not get in any trouble yet. Polonius told Gertrude to say all this to Hamlet while he eavesdrops behind the curtains.

The way Polonius dies was when Hamlet hears something on the other side of the drapes when conversing with his mother. He immediately assumes Claudius is trying to spy on him and stabs through the drapes without pity. Hamlet then discovers that he has made a terrible mistake and has killed Polonius instead, and feels great sorrow for what he has done. After this happens the Queen calls for help as Hamlet carries out Polonius’s body.

After when Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are sent by Claudius to bring Polonius’s body to the chapel they ask Hamlet where he put the body. Hamlet did not tell them directly but later said to the king, “In heaven. Send thither to see. If your messenger find him not there, seek him I’th’other other place yourself. But if indeed you find him not within this month you shall nose him as you go up the stairs into the lobby.” (4. 3. 107) Polonius's body is not mentioned after and does not say anything about burial or discovery.

Polonius has a very significant death because it is a chain reaction to the later deaths of his children. Though Polonius's death was unintentional some could say that it was a form of karma for trying to spy on Hamelt.

References: . Gill, Roma, OBE, ed. Hamlet. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1992. Print.

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