Essay on The Destruction of Love Between Hamlet and Ophelia

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The Destruction of Love Between Hamlet and Ophelia

Ophelia describes Hamlet as 'the courtier's soldier, scholar's eye, tongue and sword, Th'expectancy and rose of fair state, the glass of fashion and the mould of form, Th'observed of all observers (Act 3 Scene 1) He is the ideal man. But, after his madness and the death of her father she sees him as 'a noble mind o'er thrown!' (Act 3 Scene 1). Ophelia suffers from Hamlet's disillusionment; his attitude to her in Act 3 Scene 1 is hard to explain. His faith in women was shattered by his mother's marriage and it is also possible that Hamlet knows that Ophelia has been ordered to seek him out- yet how strong could their love have been as there is little excuse for the
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This point is further backed by the fact that although Claudius and Gertrude would like to believe that it is Hamlet's unrequited love for Ophelia that has driven him 'mad', Hamlet's behaviour with Ophelia convinces them that Ophelia is not the main cause of his illness. As Claudius said 'Love? His affections do not that way tend; Nor what he spake, though it lacked form a little, was not like madness.' (Act 3 Scene 1).

Hamlet's attitude, after seeing the ghost of his father, to Ophelia suggests that he is not fully in control of his actions- even if he knows Polonius and Claudius are listening, and that Ophelia, like his mother, is faithless; it is still hard to explain that, if he loves Ophelia, why he is so cruel to her. Ophelia's response to his harsh words are immediate, that he is mad- suggesting that their love does run deep, for she cannot bear to conceive that his words are from sanity and that he could be so cruel and unloving to her. 'Now see that noble and most sovereign reason, like sweet bells jangled, out of tune and harsh' (Act 3 Scene 1).

Hamlet's behaviour in the graveyard scene suggests insanity. When he realises his love, Ophelia, is dead, he leaps into her grave, insisting that his love is greater than any brother's. From his mouth he
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