Polonius, in Hamlet, sends Reynaldo to France as his undercover agent to spy on his son. He pays him as his servant, giving him the orders that he won’t be able to disobey. Polonius wants to control his son even from another country. Besides, he wishes to cast a light upon all the dirty secrets. Polonius asks to dent Laertes’s reputation using any sort of lies. And that’s just one side of the story.
At the beginning of act II, Polonius sends Reynaldo to spread rumors about his son, Laertes. He has hardly ever done anything immoral in his life, but it doesn’t matter for the father. Under the pretext of delivering money, Polonius calls for Reynaldo and orders him spy on Laertes. On the one hand, the father does not trust his son and wants to examine if he is prone to misbehave. On the other, he is eager to give him a good lesson. Teaching Laertes to survive harmful rumors about him can be a motivation for espionage. Although he suspects something shady at first, Reynaldo had to obey the order. The man is the loyal servant of the lord and believes in his good intentions.
This act of his shows Polonius as a mean-spirited deceptive man. He notices in his son the traits that he personally owns. He is ready to cringe before Claudius and show his loyalty even through espionage that he organizes for his son. Yet, Polonius tries hard to be a good parent. He sincerely believes that he is acting like this to teach his son to be better. Like most characters devised by Shakespeare, Polonius is open to interpretations, as some scholars state. At the same time, he is wise and fool, sensible and callous.