Sc. 2, Lines 40–55

Sc. 2, Lines 40–55: Describe the relationship between Polonius and Claudius and its effect upon the characters’ actions.

Polonius. Th’ ambassadors from Norway, my good lord, Are joyfully returned.

King. Thou still hast been the father of good news.

Polonius. Have I, my lord? I assure my good liege I hold my duty as I hold my soul, Both to my God and to my gracious king, And I do think, or else this brain of mine Hunts not the trail of policy so sure As it hath used to do, that I have found The very cause of Hamlet’s lunacy.

King. O, speak of that! That do I long to hear.

Polonius. Give first admittance to th’ ambassadors. My news shall be the fruit to that great feast.

King. Thyself do grace to them and bring them in.

[Polonius exits.]

He tells me, my dear Gertrude, he hath found The head and source of all your son’s distemper.

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Although Polonius is liege to Claudius as his king, the two share a large measure of trust, friendship, and mutual respect.