Ophelia 's Suicide And Its Effects On The Play As A Whole Essay

1099 Words Apr 1st, 2016 5 Pages
Ophelia’s suicide in Hamlet influences the play as a whole. There are many different causes for her death, an important one being madness. Her madness is a major factor; it resulted from various griefs and stressors caused by men that influenced her and Hamlet’s rejection of her. In Hamlet, Ophelia’s suicide and its effects on the plot are consistent with the beliefs of Shakespeare’s day and reflect religious inconsistencies and contradictions of the newly Protestant England. It demonstrates the effects insanity can have. Ophelia’s suicide results directly from madness and indirectly from Hamlet and other characters; she seems simple on the surface, but Shakespeare gave her a very complex, emotional downfall.

Ultimately, Ophelia’s suicide is the result of her madness. She is in love with Hamlet, and part of her madness comes from his rejection. Most of the grief over Hamlet, however, comes from the stress of their uncertain relationship. Hamlet is a key player in her reason for uncertainty but some of the stress over her relationship with Hamlet comes from her father’s and brother’s interference. Both Polonius and Laertes pressure Ophelia so that they can manipulate her relationship with Hamlet. Ophelia’s suicide can partly be attributed to an attempt to “circumvent the patriarchal limitations” (Campbell 53) of her father and brother. When Shakespeare introduces Ophelia as mad, she is handing out flowers. Ophelia explains the reasoning for why she gives certain flowers to…

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