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You are watching: What is a fishmonger in hamlet


In action II, scene ii, that Hamlet, Polonius viewpoints Hamlet to incite a screen of Hamlet"s madness to be able to give confirmation and explanation that it to Queen Gertrude and also King Claudius . When Polonius speaks, Hamlet calls that a fishmonger. A fishmonger is a person who sells...

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In action II, scene ii, that Hamlet, Polonius approaches Hamlet to incite a display of Hamlet"s madness to have the ability to give confirmation and also explanation that it to Queen Gertrude and King Claudius. As soon as Polonius speaks, Hamlet calls him a fishmonger. A fishmonger is a human who sell fish.

While some contend that Hamlet uses this together a derogatory hatchet to straight insult Polonius, Polonius does no react to it together an insult, for this reason does no take it as a derogatory term. All Polonius claims is, "he knew me no at first; he stated I / was a fishmonger: the is much gone ." Remember the his opened query to Hamlet is, "Do you understand me, my lord?" which is in and also of chin an odd opening comment in between people who have actually known each other from of old. Hamlet must certainly have realized that Polonius was testing the proposition that Hamlet to be mad. 

What Polonius does take as an insult is Hamlet"s comment around his honesty: "I would you to be so ethical a man." Polonius"s solution is plainly one that surprise and shock the he would suggest a lack of honesty in Polonius"s inside nature: "Honest, my lord!"

Although "fishmonger" has actually in current times been compared to words "pimp," arguing Hamlet is verbally attacking Polonius because that his ideas about and treatment of his daughter, Ophelia, there is no historical proof that "fishmonger" had any kind of such definition in Early modern English that the Renaissance.

In any type of case, Polonius definitely did not call for that Ophelia associate through Hamlet in bespeak to please the King. ~ above the contrary, he warned her that she must not think of Hamlet, since he is a Prince and also has duties to accomplish that carry out not incorporate marrying simply for love.

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... Hence I did bespeak:"Lord Hamlet is a prince, the end of thy star;This must not be:" and also then i precepts offered her,That she need to lock herself from his resort,Admit no messengers, obtain no tokens.Which done, she take it the fruits of mine advice;

This tells us the factor that Hamlet renders this intentionally ironical remark and calls Polonius a fishmonger is come (1) taunt him and tease the by speak something inexplicable; come (2) give much more substance come his insanity act; and to (3) express his contempt for Polonius"s meddling in his family members affairs. The major reason he ironically calls Polonius a fishmonger is (4) so that he deserve to express his disrespect for Polonius"s honesty, or for what Hamlet perceives together his dishonesty: "I would you to be so moral a man." This tardy of corrupt is Hamlet"s apprehension or knowledge of being manipulated and also spied on through Polonius.