Free Hamlet Essays: Ophelia Character Analysis

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William Shakepeare 's Hamlet is a powerful demonstration of the spiteful and greedy nature of people. Throughout the play, the common response to unfortunate events is to seek out revenge, and to bring punishment upon whomever has hurt you. The one expection to this recurrence is Ophelia, who responds to the horrific events that she endures with sorrow and lunacy. Unlike those around her, Ophelia assumes guilt for the suffering that she helps cause, and lacks the cruelty that characterizes everyone else in Hamlet. Ophelia 's unparalleled campassion and sensitivity, coupled with her tragic luck, lead to her insanity and eventually cause her to take her own life. In this way, Ophelia is the one true tragedy in Hamlet: she is the sole character …show more content…
Unfortunately for Ophelia, her sentimental and obsequious nature help ruin her life. Despite the obvious love between her and Hamlet, when Polonius asks Ophelia if their love is true, she tells her father, "I do not know, my lord, what I should think" (1.3.47). Ophelia perhaps does not completely believe Hamlet herself, or is afraid to confess her true feelings to her father. Regardless, Ophelia forces herself to abandon her relationship with Hamlet at her father 's request, saying she "shall obey, my lord" (1.3.49). In yielding to her father 's demands, Ophelia shows the loyaly that many other characters lack. While Claudius murders his own brother and the Queen quickly remarries after the death of her husband, Ophelia puts her respect for her father ahead of her own …show more content…
Ophelia is the only person in Hamlet that will not take any action necessary to get what she desires. Claudius kills his own brother to gain power, as Gertrude possibly goes along with the murder in order to be with Claudius. Laertes and Hamlet likewise will stop at nothing to gain the revenge that they want so greatly, and in the process cost many people their lives. Ophelia is thus the lone embodiment of selflessness in Hamlet. Ophelia listens to Laertes and her father only to make them happy, despite her immense love for Hamlet. Even after Ophelia believes that she is the reason for Hamlet 's apparent madness, she wishes she could reverse her decision and make Hamlet

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