Essay about The Relationship Between Hamlet and Ophelia

947 WordsAug 11, 20114 Pages
The Relationship between Hamlet and Ophelia Table of Contents 1. Introduction iii 2. Body iii 2.1 “I did love you once” iii 2.2 “I loved you not” iv 2.3 “This is I, Hamlet the Dane” v 3. Conclusion vi Bibliography vii Versicherung viii 1. Introduction 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? This paper deals with the relationship between the characters of Hamlet and…show more content…
When Polonius and Claudius decide to test Hamlet’s madness through Ophelia, he confesses he once loved her; only to immediately contradict himself claiming her never loved her. Fuelled by his detestation of sinful mankind and his low opinion of women in general as a result of his mother’s incest, he furthermore repeatedly orders Ophelia to “Go [her] ways to a nunnery”. More crudeness on Hamlet’s behalf is shown during the play-in-play, when he tortures Ophelia with a series of rude sexual comments. So, Hamlet hurts Ophelia as much as he confesses his love, how can he do that if he truly loves her? All those encounters with Ophelia happen under unfortunate conditions. Claudius’s test takes place right after Hamlet delivers his ‘To be or not to be’ soliloquy, voicing suicidal thoughts. Additionally, he cannot be honest with Ophelia as he must know of her obedience to her father Polonius and has to maintain his madness-cover. With regard to this, one could argue that Ophelia joining a nunnery would keep her safe and away from the court, as Hamlet does not and cannot know how his plans for revenge will play out. His hostile attitude towards her can thus be seen as an attempt to alienate her, again, to have her out of the way for his more imminent goal of avenging the murder of his father. 2.3 “This is I, Hamlet the Dane” – Why Hamlet is responsible for Ophelia’s death If it was Hamlet’s goal to alienate Ophelia in order to keep her safe, he absolutely fails in that
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