My liege and madam, to expostulate What majesty should be, what duty is, Why day is day, night night, and time is time Were nothing but to waste night, day and time.

Some people love Shakespeare for the poetry, some for the tragedy, some for the comedy, some for the complicated human heroes, or the calculating villains. Me? I love the pedants. Just cannot get enough of the pedantry. This line is as full of genius as a “What a piece of work is a man” or an “All the world’s a stage” If not more so.
In addition to being a gorgeous demonstration of who Polonius is, the rhythm of it makes it poetry – albeit, very silly poetry – but poetry none the less – and Polonius seems quite pleased with himself for inventing it. He has no reason to bring up why day is day or night night or why time is time. No such question was on the table until he brought it up and dismissed it. He has created a poetic construction only to knock it back down. The language of this guy winding up to tell a story is extraordinary – as if anyone was going to expostulate what majesty should be in this moment. We’ve just sent the ambassadors off and Polonius has already told the King and Queen what the next item on the agenda is. There is no reason to say any of this. This bit is pure character and it is gloriously full of it.

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