Hamlet: Scene Three, Four and Five Questions
1. Laertes warns his sister, Ophelia to regard Hamlet with only innocent flirting and not any permanent affection. He knows that Hamlet choice for love does not depend upon his own will. He tells Ophelia that she is too far below his birth for him too truly love him honestly. He does not want her to damage the beauty of her budding youth, by giving it away. He believes Ophelia to only be the brief subject of a tempestuous and pleading love. He claims to know that Hamlet will not marry her because his marriage depends on what is best for the state. Laertes does make valid points and his advice is to protect his sister, both from the pang of lost love and the sting of loss of virtue. Her response is that she will keep his advice as the “watchman” of her heat, meaning it will be her guidance in all actions. Yet, she does state that he should not give her device that he, himself does not intend to heed (pgs. 21-22, l. 1-47). 2. Polonius starts his speech by scolding Laertes for not having left yet. The basis of Polonius’ advice is “all in moderation.” He tells Laertes to not speak every thought that comes into his head and to weigh the consequences of his every action. He advises Laertes to be cordial to everyone he meets, but to never overdo it. He also says for Laertes to keep his old friends and to not be quick in making new friends. Next, Polonius tells Laertes to once again, not take haste. This time however, it is in reference to fights. Yet, Polonius does tell Laertes that once he is in a fight, he must fight to win. Polonius’ next two points are to instill polite reserve in Laertes’ composure. He tells Laertes to always listen to others’ problems, but to rarely voice his own. He gives advice to Laertes to accept the opinions of others, but to never share his own. Polonius tells Laertes to dress richly, but not gaudily because that is what is fashionable in...
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