Analysis of Ophelia's Character in Shakespeare's Hamlet Essay

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In the English play Hamlet, Shakespeare incorporates deep analytical thought in his writing by the use of character, symbolism, and motifs. Specifically, readers can find these characteristics through analytical reading of the character Ophelia. While initially reading the story, Ophelia represents a character that is typical of the women in the 1600s, one who is too submissive and directed by the people around her. First impressions of Ophelia's character seem much too simplistic- one that is emotionally governed and trivial, in a sense. However, when her words are analyzed along with her motives and state of mind, it appears that there is a greater sense of understanding, an underlying motive that is directed and well thought out by her …show more content…

This conflict is evident in the first act of the play when Laertes is set to leave to France. Laertes' departing words to Ophelia are focused upon Hamlet and his supposed motives dealing with Ophelia. Laertes describes the relationship as one that is [Forward, not permanent, sweet, not lasting]. He believes that this relationship is temporary and will not have any lasting benefits. It seems that the opposite may be true, in which Hamlet is set to marry Ophelia. In the 1600s, a person of royalty is expected to find love with either someone who is of the nobility or of the royalty in a different land. The relationship between Hamlet and Ophelia (who is of the nobility) appears to be public. It is unlikely that this relationship will end soon. This is especially true due to Hamlet's circumstance of his father's untimely death and his investigation on Claudius' right to the throne and the possibility of murder. If anything, Hamlet may want to end the relationship with Ophelia, but Laertes points out a factor that may make Hamlet decide differently. [His choice must be circumscribed unto the voice and yielding of that body whereof he is the head] points to the fact that Hamlet is under the influence of the royal family. It is unclear how much of Denmark's populace knows about this relationship, but there are people in Denmark's nobility who

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