Essay on Hamlet/Ophelia Relationship

609 Words Mar 20th, 2013 3 Pages
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Essay Sample
Hamlet and Ophelia have a relationship that is quite significant to Hamlet as a whole. Their relationship in the past has been filled with many sexual endeavors but once the play starts, it begins its downfall, affecting multiple characters down the line. Throughout the play, the relationship indirectly causes obsession, death, insanity, and the drive for vengeance. Ophelia's love for Hamlet is mentioned very early in the play when she is with her brother, Laertes, and her father, Polonius.

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His obsession with their relationship causes his own death. His death is well deserved. Unfortunately, his death drives Ophelia insane. She loses the love of her life, her brother is far away in Paris so she has no one to go to anymore, and now her father perishes. Being driven over the edge, she does not notice that falls into a large pool of water, and before long, "her garments, heavy with their drink, pulled the poor wretch from her melodious lay to muddy death" (4.7 206-208).

The significance of Ophelia and Hamlet's relationship is all tied together by Laertes's mark for vengeance. Act V i. is the first scene since Polonius's death that the two characters are in each other's presence. Overcome with grief, Hamlet cries, " I loved Ophelia: forty thousand brothers could not, with all their quantity of love make up my sum" (5.1.270-72). When he sees Laertes in the grave, he becomes jealous and angry, so they wrestle. Laertes was not prepared to kill Hamlet there and then, but it is hinted that he will do so in the next scene. Hamlet's relationship may indirectly lead up to his death.

Hamlet's and Ophelia's feelings for each other stay strong throughout the whole play, even though they may be clouded. Their love is still strong when Ophelia rejects him and when he basically calls her a whore, they just couldn't show it. The play was strongly influenced by their relationship since it affected so many characters. It may even end the life of
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