You laying these slight sullies on my son, As it ‘twere a thing, a little soiled I’ th’ working, Mark you, your party in converse, him you would sound, Having ever seen in the prenomiate crimes The youth you breathe of guilty, be assured He closes with you in this consequence:

This sentence starts so clearly, singing with multiple ss
But then goes down many a twisted baffling alley
Before sort of half arriving at the consequence.
It’s the sort of sentence one has to read a few times – one has to parse it a bit to get at the meat of it.

Polonius is a master at saying simple things in complicated ways.
My question is, though, what triggers the speechifying in this guy?
Does he do it when he’s been called out?
Does he do it when attempting to improvise?
When he’s not sure how to explain something?
When he’s impressed with himself?
I know someone who loves to explain how things work
He’s almost never long winded until he gets started laying out how a steam engine works – then he can speechify for long long periods of time.
Polonius talks a lot, to be sure, but he can be direct, he can use short sentences. It would be interesting to work out why he chooses one over the other.

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