This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.

– William Shakespeare

Hamlet, Act 1, Scene 3. The keynote of Polonius’ famous speech to Laertes who is about to depart for Paris are these final words of wisdom. He counsels his son to be true to himself, which means he cannot be false to anyone else. One cannot overlook the deep irony in Polonius’ oft quoted exercise in sagacity and moral advice. For Polonius is a hypocrite who doesn’t practice what he preaches. After offering his blessing to Laertes to go to Paris, the deceitful Polonius sends someone to spy on him, he spies on daughter Ophelia and Hamlet, and he interferes in Ophelia’s romantic relationship with Hamlet, which contributes to her taking her life.