The source and name of Polonius have received quite a bit of attention. To quote Wikipedia:

The literary origins of the character may be traced to the King's counselor found in the Belleforest and William Painter versions of the Hamlet legend. However, at least since the 19th century scholars have also sought to understand the character in terms of Elizabethan court politics.

Polonius was first proposed as a parody of Queen Elizabeth's leading counsellor, Lord Treasurer, and Principal Secretary Wi

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