Analysis Of The Nunnery Scene In Hamlet

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In the “nunnery scene” which is played in Hamlet, Ophelia (as per her father’s and King Claudius’ instruction) attempts to push Hamlet away. As Hamlet realizes that Ophelia is trying to cut ties with him, his mood changes from sweet and loving to angry and sour. In a fit of rage Hamlet curses Ophelia’s name, ruins her name in a public setting and leaves her, upset (and crying in most adaptations) as she expresses her sorrow about having to leave Hamlet. In Ophelia’s soliloquy following her interaction with Hamlet, Ophelia mourns the loss of her ‘one true love’ and the way that Hamlet was behaving. By attempting to leave Hamlet, Ophelia betrays him. This betrayal initially stirs confusion and later sparks anger when she tries to return the letters that Hamlet wrote to her. This anger was then projected into the hurtful insults that Hamlet used to harm Ophelia. This anger shows that Hamlet did, and still loves Ophelia. While Ophelia too has the same tender loving feeling for Hamlet, she is insanely submissive to her father (and other characters for that matter). This submissiveness leads to her being stuck in an uncomfortable situation with the man that she loves. She is extremely disheartened and surprised when she sees Hamlet’s violent reaction to the thought of separation. When Hamlet angrily storms off, her grief starts to overflow and she helplessly cries out and mourns Hamlet’s lunacy. “O, what a noble mind is here o 'erthrown!” (Shakespeare Act III Scene I). Ophelia

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