Monday, November 01, 2004

Father and The Bard

Now that the topic of friendship in general was addressed in the last post I was emptying my mind of the cobwebs in my memory.Here is one.When it came for my voyage across the ocean (actually couple of them) my pop actually meant to say something and decided that the avon-resident has said it already in "Hamlet 1.3.62-3". Yes.The famous fatherly speech of Polonius to Laertes.

Polonius enters to bid his son farewell. Polonius admonishes Laertes to keep his thoughts to himself, restrain himself from acting on rash desires, and treat people with familiarity but not with vulgarity. To be slow to quarrel but to fight boldly if the need arises; to listen more than he talks; to dress richly but not gaudily; to refrain from borrowing or lending money; and, finally, to be true to himself above all things. The usual cliches but what struck to me as the most relevant was

"Those friends thou hast, and their adoption tried,
Grapple them unto thy soul with hoops of steel;
But do not dull thy palm with entertainment
Of each new-hatch’d unfledg’d comrade. "

which advises him to hold on to his old friends but be slow to embrace new friends;Anybody who has made acquaintances on this side of the atlantic knows how hard it is to forge a real bond.(I guess my account shows only one but that took a really long time too)

Apparently Polonius loves his son, though that idea is complicated later in the play when he sends Reynaldo to spy on him.I cant fathom the depths of it.Probably not meant to :-)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Tzu Sang-hu, Meng Tzu-fan, and Tzu Ch'in-chang were friends. They said to each other: "Who can live together without any special effort to live together and help each other without any special effort to help each other?" ....The three looked at each other and smiled, completely understood each other, and thus became friends.

* Excerpt from a passage by Taoist philosopher Chuang Tzu.