Act 1. Scene 3. Line 55-81

The Dialectic between: "Seeming" and "Being" between what "seems and what is," between appearances and reality. (Lines 55-81)

1. Examine Polonius' advice to Laertes and consider the dialetic at play between how Laertes could appear and how he should actually behave.


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Some of the advice is the advice of one who should only act one way.  "Neither a borrower or a lender be."  Both sides of the "coin" address the way he should act.  On the other hand, he gives advice that is hard to follow, thus emphasizing what should be on the surface, even when it is not the way he might really be inside.  "Take each man's censure, but reserve they judgment."  In other words, listen to what other people say, but even if you want to judge them, do not necessarily show that judgment.  Each piece of his advice - about entering into a quarrel, about getting true friends and other advice - has these two sides.