Sc. 2, Lines 133–152

Sc. 2, Lines 133–152: Describe the tone of the first part of Polonius’s speech. To what comment of Claudius’s is he responding? What is the tone of the last part of the speech? What literary techniques help convey this tone?

Polonius. I would fain prove so. But what might you think,When I had seen this hot love on the wing (As I perceived it, I must tell you that, Before my daughter told me), what might you, Or my dear Majesty your queen here, think, If I had played the desk or table-book Or given my heart a winking, mute and dumb, Or looked upon this love with idle sight? What might you think? No, I went round to work, And my young mistress thus I did bespeak: “Lord Hamlet is a prince, out of thy star. This must not be.” And then I prescripts gave her, That she should lock herself from his resort, Admit no messengers, receive no tokens; Which done, she took the fruits of my advice, And he, repelled (a short tale to make), Fell into a sadness, then into a fast, Thence to a watch, thence into a weakness, Thence to a lightness, and, by this declension, Into the madness wherein now he raves And all we mourn for.

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Polonius is determined and contrite. He is responding to Claudius' acknowledgement of his honor and loyalty. The word "thence" used repetitively is alliteration.