Advice To Laertes And Advice To A


?Advice To Laertes? And ?Advice To A Young Man? Essay, Research Paper

Take My Advice!

“I told you so!” This is what my mom would say after giving me advice,

and me not taking her advice. It was so eerie how my mom was always right,

like she knew exactly was going to happen. I’m sure that everyone has gotten

advice at least once in their lifetime, especially from their parents. Elders usually

know what’s best for you because they’ve been through it all themselves at one

time in their lives. That is what “Advice to Laertes” and “Advice to a Young man”

is all about, advice being given from an elder to an inexperienced younger

person. The comparative and contrasting aspects is not immense, but many

points were made on living a successful life.

In “Advice to Laertes,” Polonius gives lots of good advice on how to have

a successful life. “…Look thou character. Give thy thoughts no tongue, Nor any

unproportioned thought his act. Be thou familiar, but by no means vulgar. “ What

Polonius means by this statement is to pay attention to your true self. Also,

before speaking, actually think about what you are going to say. I know I’ve

made many mistakes in speaking before thinking. I use to make rude

comments like, “Man your really dumb.” At least I’ve learned, to think before

speaking, like Polonius says to Laertes. Polonius advises to be friendly to

others, but not too friendly to people of higher class. He also gives advice on

friends, to know who your friends are, and always keep them close to you. Much

of our times are spent with friends, but don’t spend too much time and money on

entertainment, like betting, drinking, etc.. When getting into quarrel, aviod them,

but if you can’t, always win. When a person gives advice to you, or a criticism,

listen to them. You do not have to agree with them, and only tell your thoughts to

people you trust. The list of advice goes on and on. I agree with Polonius,

because everything he has said, I have experienced, and like Polonius, give the

same advice to others in need of help.

There were two main points made in “Advice to a Young Man.” The first,

marriage is, “…the State in which you are most likely to find solid Happiness,”

Second, if Benjamin Franklin’s friend chooses not to marry, but is, “…thinking a

Commerce with the Sex,” he should prefer, “old Women to young ones.”

Benjamin Franklin stresses that marriage is best, “Together they are more likely

to succeed in the World. A single Man has not nearly the Value he would have in

the State of Union. He is an incomplete Animal. He resembles th odd Half of a

pair of Scissors.” A lot of men can not stay committed, so that’s why Benjamin

Franklin also suggests that older women are best for just an affair. He gives

eight reasons as to why they are good. First, “Because they have more

Knowledge of the World.” Second, “They learn to do a thousand Services, smal

and great; and are the most tender and useful of all Friends when you are sick.”

Third, older women can’t have children, so there is no inconvience. Fourth,

“Because through more Experience they are more prudent and discreet in

conducting an Intrigue to prevent Suspicion. Fifth, we all do grow old, but looks

can always be improved. Sixth, you don’t have to worry about corrupting a virgin,

and, “make her for Life unhappy.” Seventh, there’s less guilt and bitterness.

Finally, “They are so grateful!” I wouldn’t know what the difference between

marriage and just and affair would be. I’ve never married and I am still too young

for that. I do agree that older women do know better. I’m only 21, but when I look

back, I’ve come a long way and learned a lot.

These two peices of writing are similar, in that, they are both about giving

advice on how to lead a happy life. Polonius’ main point was for Laertes to

listen to his words and if he follows, he will not be false to anyone. Benjamin

Franklin’s main point to his friend was to marry immediately. These authors’

advices are things we should all think about in our lives. Especially Polonius’

words. He made many good points in what we should do in order to be a good

person so we will have a successful life.

The contrasting aspects of these two writings are the advices that both of

them are giving. Polonius thinks that if you go by his advice, you will be happy.

Benjamin Franklin thinks that marriage will solve all problems. I understand how

Polonius’ advice will help in life, but not Benjamin Franklin’s words. Benjamin

Franklin states, “A single Man has not nearly the Value he would have in the

State of Union. He is an incomplete Animal. He resembles the odd Half of a

pair of Scissors.” I am not a man, and I do not feel incomplete without a

significant other, for now that is.

To find happiness, follow the words of those who are wiser then you, for they know

best. If you don’t want to hear the nagging words from a wise one saying, “I told you so,”

take to heart to what they say. I’ve learned a great deal from Shakespeare and Benjamin

Franklin and I hope you did so too. From the words of Polonius, “Farewell. My blessing

seaon this in thee!”


Advice to Laertes, From Hamlet, William Shakespeare

Advice to a Young Man, Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)

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