The Tragedy of Ophelia in Hamlet Essay

945 Words 4 Pages
The Tragedy of Ophelia in Hamlet

Sweet and innocent, faithful and obedient, Ophelia is the truly tragic figure in William Shakespeare's Hamlet. "Her nature invites us to pity her misfortune caused not by any of her own self-initiated deeds or strategies"(Lidz 138). Laertes tells us convincingly how young and vulnerable Ophelia is, (act I. iii.10) likening her budding womanhood's destruction from Hamlet to a process as "the canker galls the infants of the spring,/ Too oft before their buttons be disclosed, /And in the morn and liquid dew of youth / Contagious blastments are most imminent". "He advises her to stay away and she lovingly banters back, typically like a young teen, reminding him to act as he advises" (Campbell 104). We
…show more content…
Angered Hamlet lashes out at her verbally abusing her calling her two-faced and playing ignorant in "wantonness", but here she shows compassion for him of his madness calling to the heavens to help him instead of hating him or speaking abusively back to him. By Hamlet's very warnings of what woman are capable of and three times telling Ophelia to go to a "nunnery", he shows how even he did not want her purity tainted, her innocence corrupted as he must have concluded was already by her part in a plan he knew her not capable of devising. But Hamlet was at it again at the play talking bawdy and improper, she listens and takes in but her replies are not over the line of improper, innocently just missing his intent, "I think nothing, my lord."

We see how fragile she is, but then who would not be shocked into a madness if their lover rashly killed their father and then was whisked away unpunished leaving behind an unholy and unbecoming cover up. No religious or stately funeral was afforded her beloved father, no flowers, not even family were there to show him honor on his heavenly journey. Ophelia, so dependent on her father, all alone in her dismay and grief, her brother who was not directly told of Polonius? death was away in France, avoided by the queen and king, she could receive no comfort there, she senses the taboo and danger in expressing the injustice straight out.

A gentleman of the court tells
Open Document