Read the excerpt from Act IV of Hamlet.
Rosencrantz: Take you me for a sponge, my lord?
Hamlet: Ay, sir, that soaks up the king's countenance, his rewards, his authorities. But such officers do the king best service in the end: he keeps them, like an ape, in the corner of his jaw; first mouthed, to be last swallowed: when he needs what you have gleaned, it is but squeezing you, and, sponge, you shall be dry again.
This exchange reflects Shakespeare's time because
sponges were new and popular in Elizabethan society.
scientists in the 1600s were studying the human body.
rulers gained power by surrounding themselves with loyal officers.
common people felt that they were ignored by their royal leaders.