Essay about William Shakespeare 's ' Death Ophelia '

1230 Words Nov 24th, 2015 null Page
Following Polonius’ death Ophelia, daughter of Polonius, is stricken with grief over the death of her father. Shakespeare very clearly intends a reference to memento mori when during Polonius’ funeral Ophelia says, “Look at my flowers. There’s rosemary, that’s for/ remembering. Please remember, love. And there are/ pansies, they’re for thoughts” (Shakespeare 4.5.51-53). Physical symbols of memento mori were very popular during the renaissance, the most popular being a skull or human bones. Nevertheless, this rose is very clearly shown as a memento representing her father and the loss she and her family went though. Although it may seem just a small detail added by Shakespeare for dramatic effect, the meaning goes deeper than one may assume right away. Every time Ophelia or other loved ones see rosemary or pansies after that day, they will remember Polonius and in that remember death. At one point in the story Hamlet finds Claudius on his knees praying, attempting to repent for what he had done to Hamlet’s father. Seeing Claudius in his vulnerability Hamlet gets the notion that now would be the perfect time to kill him. After further consideration Hamlet determines that killing a man while repenting would mean sending him to the afterlife of peace after making right with God. This could go back to what Lewis’ talked about in Hamlet truly being vengeful and wishing the absolute worst for Claudius, but on the other hand could be an excuse for what Topchyan argued in…

Related Documents