Andrea Argenio
- Polonius is basically bidding farewell to his son, and giving him advice on how he should behave when in France.
- The audience cannot help but compare and contrast Laertes' loving relationship with his father and Hamlet's relationship with both his real (dead) father and Claudius.
- For example, when Polonius says: "Give thy thoughts no tongue/Nor any unproportioned thought his act", the audience immediately relates back to Hamlet's soliloquy.
- Later on, we find out that Polonius is sending spies after Laertes, which changes the meaning of the speech. We can now see it as a portrayal of the rotten state of Denmark, as Polonius seems like a loving and trusting father at first, but that is not the case.


Vivek Varatharajan
- This section shows the relationship between Polonius and Laertes.
- There are also lots of advices and proverbs and also there is a sense of positivity. For example, Polonius shows care for Laertes but he is also not stopping him from going to France.
- Polonius and Laertes respect each other. This can be seen when Laertes replies to advice his father is giving and also when Polonius says “There, my blessing with thee,...” (ln: 56) where ‘thee’ is used to give respect to the person.
- “Costly thy habit as thy purse can buy/ But not expressed in fancy – rich, not gaudy;.....” (ln: 69,70). This has two meanings where it represents advice given for clothing and symbolically he has also given advice for his character.
- Polonius says to Laertes, “This above all, to thine own self be true...” (ln: 77). This is contradicted later in the play when he sends Reynaldo to spy Laertes in France which shows that even he is not true to himself.