Parenting in Hamlet by William Shakespeare Essays

1430 Words6 Pages
The role parents play in a child’s development is critical. They are the people who have the most influence on them, effecting most aspects of even their adult life. When too controlling, the role of a parent can have lasting negative consequences for the child. In the play, Hamlet, by William Shakespeare, the author shows that loss of an authoritative parent leaves people trying to replace the loss of that control in unhealthy ways that destroy the person. This can be seen in the lives of Ophelia, Hamlet and Laertes, who all loose a controlling father. In the life of Ophelia, it can be seen that she is very dependant on Polonius. She obeys him, even if she doesn’t want to. When she is told by Polonius, “I would not, in plain terms, from…show more content…
Ophelia is accustomed to having her father speak on her behalf, as well as being dependent on him for emotional support. Her absolute dependence means Ophelia does not know how to cope and reason on her own. Being left to grieve alone, she does not have an objective perspective or someone to bring her back to her senses, and therefore becomes overwhelmed by her emotions. Having no control over the intensity of how to feel and act is a very unhealthy way to cope. Her grief makes her speak “nothing”, and those who hear her are left to doubt and “think there might be thought”, although they cannot be sure about what she really means. Allowing herself to continually feel her grief without support and guidance causes Ophelia to lose her mind. King Claudius says of her, “O, this is the poison of deep grief: it springs/ All from her father’s death…; Poor Ophelia/ Divided from herself and her fair judgement,/ Without the which we are pictures”(4.5.74-75,83-83) Without her father and his ability to reason and tell her what to do, Ophelia loses the little control she has over herself. Previously, she could rely on Polonius to speak for her, but her only support is gone, and her coping strategy is ineffective and detrimental. By being separated from “herself and her fair judgement”, Ophelia is no longer herself, and the girl who she used to be has been destroyed. Comparably to Ophelia, the person of

More about Parenting in Hamlet by William Shakespeare Essays

Open Document