Polonius's Madness In Hamlet

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Madness interpreted from Hamlet's other lines in the play are easy to render rational thought. Most of Hamlet's speech which seems absurd is really leveled pun or feigned madness. The first is the most prevalent. In the mentioned scene between Polonius and Hamlet in Act II, scene ii, Hamlet first mocks Polonius, and then makes reference to hinted sanity from the previous conversation with Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. The lines seem mad to Polonius who cannot reference them, cannot figure out Hamlet is mocking him, and cannot understand Hamlet's complex puns. Polonius misunderstands Hamlet in many scenes, including the scene which he thinks he corroborates Hamlet's madness in the beginning of Act II, scene ii. Hamlet seemingly mistakes Polonius for a fishmonger, insulting him, but Polonius rights it off as insanity. …show more content…
Then Hamlet begins a long insult as he pretends to relate what he is reading, but Polonius still does not understand. Plus, even through Polonius' misinterpretation, Polonius himself still notes that Hamlet's comments seem reasonably logical: "Though this be madness, yet there/is method in't" (II, ii, 207-8). Additionally, when Hamlet seems to be insane through irrelevant speech, he reaffirms his sound mind with obvious rational thinking. For instance, after the scrutinized scene with Polonius and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, Hamlet recites an entire passage from a play he heard some time ago, a sure sign of sanity. Moreover, Hamlet interjects lines throughout the play hinting at his feigned madness: "I am but mad north-northwest," and "I must be idle" (II, ii,