Essay on The Death and Madness of Ophelia

1254 Words 6 Pages
Jonathan Robinson
English Comp II
Mark Barnes
April 19, 2013

“The Madness & Death of Ophelia”
Hamlet, Prince of Denmark:
By; William Shakespeare

In Hamlet, Shakespeare makes it clear that Prince Hamlet is insane or at least on the verge of “madness.” However, Ophelia (daughter of Polonius, King of Denmark) begins to go mad, as well, after Hamlet kills her father, and the other numerous tragedies that plague her like a black cloud hovering about until her untimely death.
In this literary analysis I will ask, and attempt to explain the symbolism behind the riddles, mad songs, rhymes, and death of Ophelia. Also, Queen Gertrude’s announcement of Ophelia's death has been seen as one of the most influentially poetic death
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In Act 4, she is mourning her father’s death and is singing: “He is dead and gone, lady, He is dead and gone;
At his head a grass-green turf, At his heels a stone White his shroud as the mountain snow Landed all with sweet flowers; Which bewept to the ground did not go With true-love showers." (Hamlet)
She’s put in a horrible situation. What do you do when your boyfriend kills your father? One would think that the conflicting emotions and irrational behavior leading up to her death would suggest that she committed suicide. With Ophelia’s father murdered by her lover, it is likely that anyone in that situation would have thoughts of suicide. Ophelia’s actions in the scenes before her death suggest it, but in truth, it was caused by a terrible accident. If Ophelia’s intentions were to commit suicide, she would probably either poison or stab herself, because they are both quick and easy. Drowning is not usually the preferred method of suicide among women, because it is long and painful. Now we have Ophelia’s death, which was witnessed by Queen Gertrude. Ophelia's death, like just about everything else in the play, is mysterious. Her drowning occurs off-stage, and we're given an account by Gertrude, who may or may not have been present at the

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