Patriarchal Obedience In Ophelia

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Ophelia, the daughter of Polonius and the sister of Laertes, is an obedient daughter. She obeyed every rule that was commanded of her. For example, Polonius warned her about Hamlet’s attitudes and affections towards her, and not to “Believe his vows . . .” (1.2.127). Polonius doubts Hamlet’s love for his daughter. In response to Polonius’ warning, Ophelia obeys by saying, “I shall obey, my lord” (1.3.136). In another instance, Ophelia agreed to become Polonius and Claudius’ spy; to spy on Hamlet and to determine his insanity. Her obedience to her father added to the destruction of her love relationship and her life. Even though her love for Hamlet was strong, she obeyed her father when he told her not to meet Hamlet or accept any letters from him. The qualities of Ophelia, which includes being obedient, young and innocent, however, is rarely seen as a detriment to life. In the drama, I noticed that her patriarchal obedience along with her inability to defend herself and insecurity resulted in various undesirable events that led to her death. Ophelia had been madly in love with Hamlet, like most young lovers. She, first, demonstrated her love for Hamlet when she asked for her father’s opinion on Hamlet. This act showed that she was wanting to seek his approval to be with Hamlet. Her respect for and obedience to her father were more important …show more content…
This could be observed in Act 3 when she was conversing with Hamlet about their love. Hamlet informs her that he once loved her, and now he does not (3.1.112-115). Her frailty and innocence, revealed through Hamlet’s suspicious attitude, caused her emotional pain throughout the play. She could not cope with the consecutive traumatic events, and when Hamlet killed her father, she became insane. Her insanity was noticed and believed to be a result of pressure and abuse by

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