The Abuse of Ophelia in "Hamlet" Essay

632 Words 3 Pages
The story of Hamlet is a morbid tale of tragedy, commitment, and manipulation; this is especially evident within the character of Ophelia. Throughout the play, Ophelia is torn between obeying and following the different commitments that she has to men in her life. She is constantly torn between the choice of obeying the decisions and wishes of her family or that of Hamlet. She is a constant subject of manipulation and brain washing from both her father and brother. Ophelia is not only subject to the torture of others using her for their intentions but she is also susceptible to abuse from Hamlet. Both her father and her brother believe that Hamlet is using her to achieve his own personal goals.

When reading the text, one can comprehend
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Ophelia has no form of deciphering the cryptic contradictory expectations that the people around her demand from her.

In medieval times, the word of the man of the house, in this case being Polonius was to be obeyed by the women of the residence. Also the word of the husband is held to a similar standard. Therefore, Ophelia would have felt an obligation to obey both Hamlet and her father. This however, creates controversy within Ophelia herself due to her commitment to both her father and her unnecessary commitment to Hamlet. Her passion for Hamlet seems to be diffused by her greater sense of commitment to her father. Ophelia is not entirely true to Hamlet in that she lies to Hamlet and tells him that her father is at home when he is actually behind a curtain listening in on the conversation. This is evidence that Ophelia is not able to operate and maintain sanity under the pressure from both sources. In her choice of obedience to her father, she in a sense has chosen the course of her fate (which is inevitable doom). But does Ophelia fulfill the requirements of her day as a woman? One way of looking at the issue is the question that was Ophelia driven insane by her desire and love for Hamlet, or was she merely a casualty of a culture that creates unfeasible demands from women? Due to her incapability to create her own decisions, she is vulnerable to the influence of her father and brother and
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