Hamlet and Ophelia: True Love or Bad Romance? - words | Study Guides and Book Summaries
Hamlet's reaction at Ophelia's grave seems to prove his love. The relationship between Hamlet and Ophelia is complicated by Hamlet's relationship to his. In Shakespeare's Hamlet, Prince Hamlet and Ophelia have a very intricate and often confusing relationship with each other. While Hamlet has written Ophelia. Throughout the play, the relationship indirectly causes obsession, death, insanity, and the drive for vengeance. Ophelia's love for Hamlet is mentioned very early.
And so, the first thing he does is go to Ophelia, which I believe holds much significance. However, as the play progresses, his love becomes obscured by his anger and feelings of betrayal, which explains why his future interactions with her are not nearly as romantic or affectionate.
In Act 3 Scene 1, we get to see one of the first direct interactions between Hamlet and Ophelia. However, this is not a normal conversation between the two; Hamlet behaves in an angry, crazed manner, insulting Ophelia and telling her to get herself to a nunnery 3.
Hamlet's relationship with Ophelia
If Hamlet begins his interaction with Ophelia by considering killing himself, he is certainly not emotionally stable. If Hamlet is suicidal, emotionally vulnerable, and now thinks that Ophelia betrayed and never loved him, he is likely feeling very angry and conflicted. Hamlet is aware that Ophelia at the very least used to love him, and his death could have catastrophic effects on her mental and emotional health.
Hamlet could be reasoning that breaking ties now with Ophelia may be sparing her from a crueler fate. While it could be argued that Hamlet never loved Ophelia, this is very unlikely; if Hamlet loved Ophelia before the events of the play, I doubt that all of these feelings could have vanished in such a short period of time. While it may seem that Hamlet is just being affectionate, there are also other possible reasons for his actions in this scene.
Horatio and Hamlet mirror the Ghost and Hamlet.
So why does Hamlet kick Ophelia to the curb instead of asking her to help him? That question is as good as a loyalty test for Ophelia. So, is she going to give it up? Tell him the truth? When push came to shove, Ophelia did just what she always does — run to daddy.
“Lemme ‘splain it”: Hamlet and Ophelia’s “…Relationship?”
By her choice or not, she gave it to Polonius: Maybe, like he does with Laertes in the final scene when he apologizes?
And take a look at that Fabio scene again: And with a look so piteous in purport As if he had been loosed out of hell To speak of horrors Hmm, where have we seen a character like that before?
O villain, villain, smiling, damned villain! And then his girlfriend, the mirror for his mother, starts lying to him and going behind his back? Big no-no, in his mind.
Think of her like a person on live T. And WHY does she go mad and die?
hamlet and ophelia's relationship by Grace LaFortune on Prezi
What really happens is that Ophelia suddenly repels his visits and letters. Now, we know that she is simply obeying her father's order; but how would her action appear to Hamlet, already sick at heart because of his mother's frailty,1 and now finding that, the moment fortune has turned against him, the woman who had welcomed his love turns against him too?
Even if he divined as his insults to Polonius suggest that her father was concerned in this change, would he not still, in that morbid condition of mind, certainly suspect her of being less simple than she had appeared to him?
When Hamlet made his way into Ophelia's room, why did he go in the garb, the conventionally recognised garb, of the distracted lover? If it was necessary to convince Ophelia of his insanity, how was it necessary to convince her that disappointment in love was the cause of his insanity? His main object in the visit appears to have been to convince others, through her, that his insanity was not due to any mysterious unknown cause, but to this disappointment, and so to allay the suspicions of the King.
- Hamlet and Ophelia's Relationship
But if his feeling for her had been simply that of love, however unhappy, and had not been in any degree that of suspicion or resentment, would he have adopted a plan which must involve her in so much suffering? In what way are Hamlet's insults to Ophelia at the play-scene necessary either to his purpose of convincing her of his insanity or to his purpose of revenge?
And, even if he did regard them as somehow means to these ends, is it conceivable that he would have uttered them, if his feeling for her were one of hopeless but unmingled love? How is it that neither when he kills Polonius, nor afterwards, does he appear to reflect that he has killed Ophelia's father, or what the effect on Ophelia is likely to be?
We have seen that there is no reference to Ophelia in the soliloquies of the First Act. Neither is there the faintest allusion to her in any one of the soliloquies of the subsequent Acts, unless possibly in the words iii. Considering this fact, is there no significance in the further fact which, by itself, would present no difficulty that in speaking to Horatio Hamlet never alludes to Ophelia, and that at his death he says nothing of her?
If the popular theory is true, how is it that neither in the Nunnery-scene nor at the play-scene does Shakespeare insert anything to make the truth plain? Four words like Othello's 'O hardness to dissemble' would have sufficed. These considerations, coupled with others as to Hamlet's state of mind, seem to point to two conclusions.
They suggest, first, that Hamlet's love, though never lost, was, after Ophelia's apparent rejection of him, mingled with suspicion and resentment, and that his treatment of her was due in part to this cause.
And I find it impossible to resist this conclusion. But the question how much of his harshness is meant to be real, and how much assumed, seems to me impossible in some places to answer. For example, his behaviour at the play-scene seems to me to show an intention to hurt and insult; but in the Nunnery-scene which cannot be discussed briefly he is evidently acting a part and suffering acutely, while at the same time his invective, however exaggerated, seems to spring from real feelings; and what is pretence, and what sincerity, appears to me an insoluble problem.
Something depends here on the further question whether or no Hamlet suspects or detects the presence of listeners; but, in the absence of an authentic stage tradition, this question too seems to be unanswerable.
But something further seems to follow from the considerations adduced. Hamlet's love, they seem to show, was not only mingled with bitterness, it was also, like all his healthy feelings, weakened and deadened by his melancholy.
But it was not an absorbing passion; it did not habitually occupy his thoughts; and when he declared that it was such a love as forty thousand brothers could not equal, he spoke sincerely indeed but not truly.
What he said was true, if I may put it thus, of the inner healthy self which doubtless in time would have fully reasserted itself; but it was only partly true of the Hamlet whom we see in the play. And the morbid influence of his melancholy on his love is the cause of those strange facts, that he never alludes to her in his soliloquies, and that he appears not to realise how the death of her father must affect her.