In The Tragedy of Hamlet, Shakespeare developed the story of prince Hamlet, and the murder of his father by the king's brother, Claudius. Hamlet reacted to this event with an internal battle that harmed everyone around him. Ophelia was the character most greatly impacted by Hamlet's feigned and real madness - she first lost her father, her sanity, and then her life. Ophelia, obedient, weak-willed, and no feminist role model, deserves the most pity of any character in the play.
In William Shakespeare’s, “Hamlet”, Hamlet’s love interest and Polonius’ daughter, Ophelia, died a passive and sudden death. While hanging wreaths from a willow tree, Ophelia fell from the tree and drowned in a brook. Although her death was claimed to be accidental, it is unknown if she committed suicide because she made no attempt to save herself. Her death represents the life she lived and the relationships she had with other people like her father and Hamlet. Ophelia’s death symbolizes her life with being controlled by her father, her honor and privilege of being buried in sacred ground, and the sudden termination of the relationship she had with Hamlet.
It is widely believed that “Living life without honor is a tragedy bigger than death itself” and this holds true for Hamlet’s Ophelia. Ophelia’s death symbolizes a life spent passively tolerating Hamlet’s manipulations and the restrictions imposed by those around her, while struggling to maintain the last shred of her dignity. Ophelia’s apathetic reaction to her drowning suggests that she never had control of her own life, as she was expected to comply with the expectations of others. Allowing the water to consume her without a fight alludes to Hamlet’s treatment of Ophelia as merely a device in his personal agenda. Her apparent suicide denotes a desire to take control of her life for once. Ophelia’s death is, arguably, an honorable one,
Poor Ophelia, she lost her lover, her father, her mind, and, posthumously, her brother. Ophelia is the only truly innocent victim in Hamlet. This essay will examine Ophelia's downward spiral from a chaste maiden to nervous wreck.
She falls in love with Hamlet, but begins turning away from him because he has become mad from losing his father; yet, no one can figure out why. Ophelia has empathy for Hamlet, but does not really experience his pain until her own father is killed. Ophelia instantly turns crazy from the shock of losing her father so suddenly. Her form of grief shows that she really cares for her father, and he was truly all she had. The news that Ophelia is losing her mind spreads throughout the kingdom and the queen starts to become concerned. As Gertrude is talking with the gentleman about Ophelia, he explains to her that, “She speaks much of her father, says she hears/ There’s tricks i’ the world, and hems and beats her hear,/ Spurns enviously at straws, speaks things in doubt” (IV.v.4-6). He is explaining that since her father’s death, she has become to hate the world she lives in realizing that it has nothing to offer her. Gertrude and Claudius also realize that her father must have meant a great deal to her to cause her to respond like this. Claudius says, “O, this is the poison of deep grief; it springs/ All from her father’s death” (IV.v.81-82). At the end, she commits suicide by drowning because she did not believe the suffering was worth being alive. Her grief was too strong and this is because she was attached to him by love. To lose someone she truly loved broke her
Not only is Ophelia's death marked much less significant than the other male deaths noted in the previously mentioned articles, but Ophelia’s death is articulated as a passive accident, one that happened to occur, to no avail. Every other death in the play is met with vigorous analysis and criticism, unphased by the death of Ophelia, inadvertently caused by men. Ophelia is also described as “mermaid-like” adding to the previously set notion that women are sexual objects- even at death. At this point of the play, Hamlet proclaims in a bipolar and seemingly fraudulent manner that he has always loved Ophelia (although he ordered her to “get thee to a nunnery” and was the root of her abrupt madness and suicide), while Laertes threatens that he loved Ophelia more. The attention and passion are still not recognized and respected with Ophelia even after her death but is used as a game between two men to satisfy their guilt and build their ego, competing for the love of Ophelia that was only disrespected when she was
According to the US News suicide among middle aged women and younger girls aged 10 - 14 has nearly tripled in percentage since 1999 (Leonard). The thoughts and feelings of girls can be disregarded leaving them feeling dejected and alone which can lead to depression. An appropriate theory to connect to this is that Ophelia was upset over Hamlet and took action upon those feelings. These statistics show the troubling world that we live in, and Ophelia's story shows the troubling world that she lived in. Many can make the connection between the two and understand the struggle in any
Shakespeare’s Hamlet is by all means a troubled young man. He seeks revenge for the murder of his father and has to deal with the incestuous relationship between his mother and uncle. In order to hide his motives, he pretends to be mad. Is it under such circumstances possible for him to return Ophelia’s feelings for him? And in what way does Hamlet’s struggle with himself affect Ophelia?
Hamlet was deeply in love with the recently departed fair Ophelia, daughter of Polonious, who also sadly is not with us. He loved her much more than he expressed, and it is unfortunate that his inability to express his love for her could have been part of her downfall. Although he treated her scornfully and rudely I know that he loved her more than anyone could imagine. Hamlet, I remember, at the dear Ophelia’s funeral, you told the whole world of your love. “I loved Ophelia. 40 thousand brothers could not, with all their quantity of love make up my sum,” you said. I cannot help but think that if you had expressed your love for the fair maiden, both her and quite possibly you would still be with us today. He loved his mother, Queen Gertrude. Although he held her in disdain for her hasty marriage to Claudius, who he despised, he still loved her with all his heart
Young maidens are often described as lush and virtuous. They mind their manners, they focus on etiquette, and above all else, they do not pursue a physical relationship with a man outside of marriage. The consequences of being caught in such a union were severe, including social shunning amongst verbal floggings. Some had it even worse. Those few who were unlucky enough to conceive out of wedlock would be doomed. The psychological and social repercussions would be overwhelming, and often led to suicide. This can be seen in Shakespeare’s Hamlet in his character, Ophelia. It is evident in Hamlet that Ophelia is pregnant and that this pregnancy may have contributed to her death.
Queen Gertrude and Ophelia, the main female characters in Shakespeare’s dramatic tragedy Hamlet, have a variety of personal qualities and experiences in common. This essay, with the help of literary critics, will explore this commonality.
Ophelia’s role in Hamlet is a very tragic one, because in all honesty, she was one of the most innocent characters of them all. She loved her father dearly, but he was taken away from her by complete accident. As Ophelia’s story progressed, her composure slowly started slipping away from her when she sang to Gertrude and Claudius about her father’s death and starts taking off her clothes (Act 4, scene v). When
Ophelia’s poignant suicide (or accidental death) might also be a source of sorrow for Hamlet, as he often states throughout the play that he loves her. Gertrude (Hamlet’s mother) describes her as having dies naturally, maybe having fallen accidentally into the river, but had not made an effort to save herself. Even in death she is seen as beautiful, and it is a doleful reminder that all things, even beautiful, have an ephemeral time on this
By his cockle hat and staff and his sandal shoon.” (V. IV. 23-26) This shows how Ophelia has became crazy over Hamlet’s inability to show affection towards her and him rejecting her. Ophelia’s madness soon spirals into her commuting suicide by drowning herself in the river. This can be linked to Nietzche’s statement that there is some madness in love, as Ophelia’s love for Hamlet caused her to become crazy. Hamlet also shows signs of madness due to his relationship with Ophelia. Throughout the play it is unknown to the audience if Hamlet truly has feelings for Ophelia. It is not until Act V that the audience becomes aware of Hamlet’s true feelings when he finds out about Ophelia’s death, Hamlet states, “ I loved Ophelia. Forty thousand brothers could not with all their quantity of love make up my sum. What wilt thou do for her?” (V.I. 255-257) This shows how Hamlet become mad with rage and sorrow as he hears of her death, finally revealing his true feelings. This relates to Nietzche’s statement that there is some madness in love, as Hamlet has not been able to show his true feeling for Ophelia, and once he become aware of her death he is filled with sorrow. This madness is shown when Hamlet develops a plan to fool everyone to thinking he is crazy.