essay on- This above all:to thine own self be true(shakespeare)

Asked by deeptisingh25 | 2nd Aug, 2014, 05:26: PM

Expert Answer:

This famous quote is attributed to the character Polonius in William Shakespeare’s Hamlet. The quote is a piece of advice given to Polonius’ son Laertes and it stresses on the importance of staying true to oneself.

The quote underscores the importance of personal integrity and warns against blind emulation of others. According to Polonius, one has to be entirely honest to oneself. One should have the integrity to embrace oneself despite all the flaws. He addresses his son through his speech, and urges him to be independent and capable..

Though the intention of the quote is quite noble, Shakespeare uses it as a medium to ridicule Polonius’ character. He is an embodiment of self righteousness and this quote provides some comic relief to the audience. His long rambling speeches are in contrast with his character. The quote in the context of the play is therefore quite shallow and insincere. This contrast ensures hilarity and Polonius thus becomes a figure of ridicule.

Through the quote Polonius implies that aspiring to be somebody else is akin to self deception.The quote has a universal appeal and is timeless. It is relevant not only to the Elizabethan society, but also to our modern world where our identity and integrity are constantly questioned.

Answered by Sandhya Raghavan | 4th Aug, 2014, 04:27: PM

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