Act 2, Scene 2
Shakespeare has often been known to have the characters in his plays perform soliloquies in the middle of talking to another character. Soliloquies are often looked at as thinking out loud. They often help the audience or reader know a little better about the thought process of the character, and what might occur next in the play. Soliloquies are looked at as a form of narration. They often show a two-faced nature to many of the characters. One example could be from Hamlet in act 2 scene 2. Polonius has initiated a conversation with Hamlet as soon as he runs into him. Polonius is trying to talk to Hamlet because Hamlet has feelings for Polonius’ daughter Ophelia. Polonius doesn’t want Ophelia to talk to Hamlet because Polonius believes Hamlet is a womanizer and a bit of a brat, and would prefer for his only daughter to be with someone different. Polonius approaches Hamlet and tries very hard to connect with him, but at that moment Hamlet is acting particularly difficult towards him. Polonius is a little annoyed at Hamlet’s attitude, but has kept his annoyance bottled up inside of him.
“How say you by that? Still harping on my daughter. Yet he knew me not at first. He said I was a fishmonger. He is far gone, far gone. And truly in my youth I suffered much extremity for love, very near this. I’ll speak to him again.” (2-2) Lines 204-209
This quote from Hamlet is a soliloquy of Polonius’ where he describes his feelings about Hamlet’s behavior. Polonius at this moment believes Hamlet is acting this way because he feels dismayed that Ophelia has basically avoided him. What Polonius doesn’t know is that Hamlet is acting this way not exclusively because of that. Hamlet in this point in time has a lot on his plate. He has recently discovered that the King of Denmark murdered his father, and he found out all of this information from the ghost of his father. This quote also shows how Polonius at first is really not happy that Hamlet called him a “fishmonger”, while at the same time he has been bothering his daughter, when suddenly he realizes when he was around the same age as Hamlet he might have acted similarly in a situation involving a girl he liked. So as a result of his revelation he becomes more sympathetic towards Hamlet and decides to keep talking to him.
Directly after the soliloquy Polonius asks Hamlet what he has been reading in an effort to try and connect with him, and see if they might have any similar interests. This is followed by Hamlet saying he reads many words. A response of that sort leads one to think that the person who said that really has no interest in speaking to that person or they love to act like a smart alec. Polonius after a few more words are exchanged asks Hamlet have a serious talk with him. Hamlet shuts his request down completely. Leading Polonius to realize that this might not have been the best time to speak with Hamlet.
“His answers are so full of meaning sometimes! He has a way with words, as crazy people often do, and that sane people don’t have a talent for. I’ll leave him now and arrange a meeting between him and my daughter. “ (2-2) Lines 226-232
This is also a soliloquy of Polonius’ and he is talking about how Hamlet has a lot to say. He is saying that he believes Hamlet is crazy as a result of having lots to say. Though as a result of talking to Hamlet he must have thought the craziness was as a result of Hamlet’s love for Ophelia, and not for any other reason, so he decides it might be alright if Ophelia meets with Hamlet again. After his soliloquy Polonius says a very polite goodbye to Hamlet, and as Polonius leaves Hamlet mutters to himself about how boring people who are older are.