There’s something so satisfying about knowing that not only does Polonius have favorite writers but we get to know who they are! And why he likes them! I’m not sure what the law of writ is but I assume it’s what Seneca was particularly good at illuminating because Plautus, as a comedy writer, just has to be the one gifted at the liberty. I like knowing what Polonius might have laughed at and what he took very seriously.
Because I take reading seriously, I often understand a person by what writers they love. Somehow a person’s favorite author makes him or her real to me. As if knowing that you love Thomas Pynchon (even though I think he’s a bit of a misogynist wanker) shines a light on you and the private corners of your brain.
That I love Neil Gaiman and Alice Hoffman and Jane Austen and Jeannette Winterson and Terry Pratchett and of course, my main squeeze, Shakespeare, says a lot about the private corners of mine.
So I like knowing a little bit about Polonius’ taste in writers because it helps to know him better. If I were to play him, I’d be reading a whole lot of Seneca and Plautus, you can count on it.