Hamlet Polonius Family

Topics: Hamlet, Characters in Hamlet, Gertrude Pages: 3 (933 words) Published: October 8, 1999
Hamlet - The "Real" Tragedy

In Hamlet, by William Shakespeare, the death of a character becomes a frequent event. Although many people lose their lives as a result of their own self-centered wrong-doing, there are others whose death are a result of manipulation from the royalty. This is the case of Polonius’ family. The real tragedy of Hamlet is not that of Hamlet or his family but of Polonius’ family because their deaths were not the consequence of sinful actions of their own but rather by their innocent involvement in the schemes of Claudius and Hamlet. The first character to die in Hamlet is Polonius. Although Polonius often acts in a deceitful manner when dealing with Hamlet, it is only because he is carrying out plans devised by the king or queen to discover the nature of Hamlet’s madness. Being the king’s Lord Chamberlain, it is his duty to obey the king and queen’s wishes and it is this loyalty that eventually proves to be fatal for him. An example of hoe Polonius’ innocent involvement with the royalty results in his death can be found at the beginning of Act III, scene iv, when Hamlet stabs him while he is hiding behind the arras in Gertude’s room. This shows how Polonius, a man unaware of the true nature of the situation he is in, is killed by a member of the royalty during the execution of one of their schemes. This makes Polonius’ death a tragedy. The next member of Polonius’ family to die is his daughter Ophelia. Ophelia’s death is tragic because of her complete innocence in the situation. Some may argue that Polonius deserves his fate because of his deceitfulness in dealing with Hamlet while he is mad, but Ophelia is entirely manipulated and used by Hamlet and the king for their own selfish reasons. An example of how Ophelia is used by Hamlet takes place in Act II, scene I, when Hamlet...
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