Ophelia a young naive woman Polonius’ daughter and sister to Laertes fall in love with Hamlet despite her family opposing their affair (Shakespeare 39). During this affair, Hamlet on his part does not wholly reciprocate the same affection towards her despite Ophelia believing and trusting him. In this play, Shakespeare utilizes dialogue to highlight the ill-treatment of Ophelia by her father and brother regarding her relationship with Hamlet. For they believe Hamlet was only intending to take advantage of her innocence whereby later he will end up leaving her. However, the text depicts Hamlet’s feelings were contrary to what Ophelia on her part felt and thought regarding her suitor. Ophelia had a more intimate relationship with Hamlet than what is portrayed in the text.
In this text, Ophelia irrespective of her innocence and being naive embrace an essential role that advances varied scenes as well as traits of the main character (Bartsch). Her relationship with Hamlet advances the play’s plot besides revealing the entire text’s feminism as numerous scholars would argue (Gates 229). Based on numerous scholars’ arguments, Ophelia in this play while being in love with Hamlet, her role is more of a feminine symbolism contrary to how literally the text implies from external meaning. It is through her love for Hamlet that occupies the central position in the life of the main character besides involved in other ventures including that of revenge. This is because of the affection she had for Hamlet though somehow their relationship encounters varied challenges. One of these challenges encompasses their relationship’s denial by Ophelia’s brother and father though they manage to continue.
Despite throughout the entire account reciprocation of Ophelia’s love by Hamlet not coming close to equal that of hers’, it is through their relationship that fuels almost every incidence revolving around her lover’s vengeful process (Gates 229). Consequently, this depicts Ophelia account as a “courtly tragic love” despite numerous critics including scholars not giving it an adequate focus (Gates 229). Numerous dramatic events by Hamlet end up involving her in one way or another through her representation in numerous scenes assumes a hidden symbolism, which is feminism’s voice. Her role in this case despite casual involvements with other men was to support her lover irrespective of numerous circumstances that were against them (Shakespeare 72).
The depiction of Ophelia’s love towards her lover is quite evident in the way she secretly courts Hamlet but this comes to her disappointment when she informs both the father and brother who eventually express utter disapproval (Gates 229). This is because they perceived Hamlet’s move was only to conceal his intentions in the pretense of loving her. Loving Hamlet is quite evident throughout the account despite eventually Ophelia turning out to murder him, which is not her wish but compelled by circumstances she finds herself. This is evident in the way she ends up becoming mad whereby clinically, this is a “female love-melancholy” state. Mainly, this state commonly referred to as erotomania emerges at one’s desperation and indignation of having lost touch with what he or she loves and esteems, hence resulting in madness on her part. Ophelia’s declaration of her lover murder intentions does not literally imply she does not love him as the text contends but acting out of desperation. This is because whom she loves ends up exterminating the father whereby at her position I deem she thought no need of having anyone to love but remain alone.
Bartsch, Christine. How to Write a College Character Analysis Essay. Global Post. n.d. Web. 6Th May 2014.
Gates, Sarah. Assembling the Ophelia fragments: gender, genre, and revenge in Hamlet. Explorations in Renaissance Culture. 34.2 (2008): p229.
Shakespeare, William. Hamlet (The Pelican Shakespeare), Revised edition. Ed. Braunmuller, A. R. Penguin Classic, 2001. Print.