Polonius’s Death – Hamlet
Polonius’s death occurs as a result of him being in the wrong place, at the wrong time. Hamlet went to his mother’s closet, to discuss her marriage to Claudius, and how Hamlet believed her to be in on the death of Claudius. Believing her life to be in danger, she called for help and Polonius attempts to call with her “What, ho, help, help, help! ” (III,4, 22) Hamlet realizes there is someone behind the arras and reacts impulsively “How now! A rat? Dead for a ducat! “(III,3,23) and slashes the arras, killing Polonius.
This does not help his cause at all, because it reduces him to the same level as Claudius by killing an innocent man, leaving a Laertes fatherless. The death of Ophelia is brought about by the death of Polonius. After her father dies, Ophelia falls into a deep depression. When Laerters comes back to England and sees her, he is shocked at the current state she is in. “O heavens! Is’t possible a young maid’s wits/Should be as mortal as an old man’s life? ” (IV, 5, 157-58) After this first meeting between the two, Laertes comes back to the castle to discuss matters with Claudius and finds out from Gertrude “your sister’s drown’d Laertes”. IV, 7, 165)
If Hamlet had not been trying to force his mother to admit what she had done wrong, and attempting to drive a wedge between her and Claudius, then Polonius would not have died, and Ophelia would not have drown. The death of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern proves that Hamlets pursuit of justice is a failure because it is unjust. Hamlet was sent to England with Rosencrantz and Guildenstern as his gardians. Hamlet reads his death letter that Claudius sent with them and he wrote a new letter stating that Rosencrantz and Guildenstern were to be killed.
Hamlet speaks to Horatio about what he did while on his way to England in the graveyard. “He should those beavers put to sudden death/Not shriving-time allowed. ” (V,2,44-46) Horatio replied “So Guildenstern and Rosencrantz go to’t. ” Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are to be put to death. This is an unfair and unjust act because Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are both innocent. During the course of actions which Hamlet takes in order to pursue justice through his revenge on Claudius he indirectly causes the death of his mother, Gertrude.
Laertes returns to Denmark from Paris upon the news of his father’s death marches up to the castle, and confronts Claudius, proclaiming “let come what comes; only I’ll be revenged/ Most thoroughly for my father”(IV,v,132-33). He is then informed by Claudius that it was Hamlet, not himself that had murdered Polonius. After the death of his sister, Ophelia, Laertes joins forces with Claudius in a plan to assassinate Hamlet. Laertes proposes a fencing match and poisoning the tip of his rapier; Claudius agrees to this but devises the back up plan of preparing a poison drink should the poison rapier fail to meet it’s mark.
During the fight Gertrude accidentally drinks the poisoned drink, and shouts to the world her passing. “No, no, the drink, the drink,? O my dear Hamlet,? / The drink, the drink! I am poison’d” (V,ii,299-300). Gertrudes death proves that Hamlet fails to get the justice he had been pursuing through his revenge on Claudius because even though he felt terribly toward his mother because of her infidelity and incestuous marriage to Claudius, he had never intended for her to die.