Introduction to Ophelia in Hamlet Of all the pivotal characters in HamletOphelia is the most static and one-dimensional.
She has the potential to become a tragic heroine -- to overcome the adversities inflicted upon her -- but she instead crumbles into insanity, becoming merely tragic. It appears that Ophelia herself is not as important as her representation of the dual nature of women in the play. The extent to which Hamlet feels betrayed by Gertrude is far more apparent because of Ophelia's presence. Hamlet's feelings of rage against his mother can be directed toward Ophelia, who is, in his estimation, hiding her base nature behind a guise of impeccability, just as is Gertrude.
Through Ophelia we witness Hamlet's evolution, or de-evolution into a man convinced that all women are whores; that the women who seem most pure are inside black with corruption and sexual desire.
Hamlet- Corruption in the play
And if women are harlots, then they must have their procurers. Gertrude has been made a whore by Claudius, and Ophelia has been made a whore by her father. Hamlet is not in the room but it seems obvious from the following lines that he has overheard Polonius trying to use his daughter's charms to suit his underhanded purposes.
In Hamlet's distraught mind, there is New Essays On Hamlet Stanton gray area: Polonius prostitutes his daughter. And Hamlet tells Polonius so to his face, labeling him a "fishmonger" despite the fact that Polonius cannot decipher the meaning behind Hamlet's words. As Kay Stanton argues in her essay Hamlet's Whores: Perhaps it may be granted Gertrude chose a brother over a dead Hamlet; Ophelia chooses a father over a living Hamlet: To outside observers, Ophelia is the epitome of goodness.
Like Gertrude, young Ophelia is childlike and naive.
But unlike Queen Gertrude, Ophelia has good reason to be unaware of the harsh realities of life. She is very young, and has lost her mother, possibly at birth. Her father, Polonius, and brother, Laertes, love Ophelia tremendously, and have taken great pains to shelter her.
She is not involved with matters of state; she spends her days engaged in needlepoint and flower gathering.
New essays on Hamlet. Hamlet's Whores / Kay Stanton -- Hamlet: A Document in Madness / Alison Findlay -- Hamlet within the Prince / Martin Wiggins. Stanton, Kay. “Hamlet’s Whores.” New Essays on Hamlet. Ed. Mark Thornton Burnett and John Manning. Hamlet Collection 1. New essays on Hamlet. New the Name of Action / Valeria Wagner --Parison and the Impossible Comparison / Lisa Hopkins --Hamlet's Whores / Kay Stanton --Hamlet. new essays on hamlet stanton - vix - PaperK2. new essays on hamlet stanton. bluest eye literary criticism essay fallen angels essays pro-con essay topics essay on. Introduction to Ophelia in Hamlet Of all the pivotal characters in Hamlet, Ophelia is the most static and one-dimensional. (Stanton, New Essays on Hamlet).
She returns the love shown to her by Polonius and Laertes tenfold, and couples it with complete and unwavering loyalty. Even though her love for Hamlet is strong, she obeys her father when he tells her not to see Hamlet again or accept any letters that New Essays On Hamlet Stanton writes. Her heart is pure, and when she does do something dishonest, such as tell Hamlet visit web page her father has gone home when he is really behind the curtain, it is out of genuine fear.
Ophelia clings to the memory of Hamlet treating her with respect and tenderness, and she defends him and loves him to the very end despite his brutality. She is incapable of defending herself, but through her timid responses we see clearly her intense suffering: I did love you once.
Indeed, my, lord, you made me believe so. You should not have believed me I loved you not. I was the more deceived.
Her frailty and innocence work against her as she cannot cope with the unfolding of one traumatic event after another. Ophelia's darling Hamlet causes all her emotional pain throughout the play, and when his hate is responsible for her father's death, she has endured all that she is capable of enduring and goes insane. But even in her insanity she symbolizes, to everyone but Hamlet, incorruption and virtue.
And the picture of her death, if our eyes grow click in watching it, is still purely beautiful". Bradley, Shakespearean Tragedy The bawdy songs that she sings in front of Laertes, Gertrude, and Claudius are somber reminders that the corrupt world has taken its toll on the pure Ophelia.
They show us that only in her insanity does she live up to Hamlet's false perception of her as a lascivious woman. How to cite this article: In New Essays on Hamlet. What Did Shakespeare Read? Quote in Context There's fennel for you, and columbines: O you must wear your rue with a difference. I would give you some violets, but they withered all when my father died: After singing "For bonny sweet Robin is all my joy," a line from a ballad of Robin Hood, she passes to another in memory of her father, and dwells with satisfaction upon the words, "They say he made a good end.
On Hamlet's Love for New Essays On Hamlet Stanton 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".