preview

Examples Of Ophelia's Madness In Hamlet

Good Essays
Emily Dickinson once said “Much madness is divinest Sense— To a discerning Eye—“. This type of madness can be found in the play “Hamlet by William Shakespeare. Though many characters show madness throughout the play, Ophelia’s madness is the most prevalent. Ophelia has good reason for this irrational behavior because of the trauma she has gone through. First, her boyfriend dumps her, then he calls her vulgar names, and lastly, he kills her father. Just one of these traumatic events could make a character go mad, but the combination of the three justifies Ophelia’s madness. The use of these three tragic events in Ophelia’s life makes her madness reasonable. The first event to happen that changes Ophelia’s demeanor is her relationship problems with her boyfriend, Hamlet. In Act III, Scene I of the play, Ophelia says to Hamlet “My lord, I have remembrances of yours, That I have longed long…show more content…
Hamlet has come to see his mother, Queen Gertrude, and ends up stabbing Lord Polonius, which ultimately leads to his death. Lord Polonius’ final words include “O, I am slain!” Even though this provides a slight amount of comic relief to the reader, it has a reverse effect on Ophelia’s mental state. Her father’s death seems to be the potent punch in this fight because she officially goes mad after this final event. This is apparent in Scene IV Act I, when Laertes has come back to visit his sister and check on her well being. He is disappointed to see that Ophelia is displaying irrational behavior when she begins to sing “They bore him barefac’d on the bier; Hey non nonny, nonny, hey nonny; And on his grave rains many a tear.” She is so mentally ill that she must be locked in a padded room during the day. At other times, she is in a straight jacket to prevent her from hurting herself. It seems as if nothing can help her mental madness. Unfortunately, her madness ultimately leads to her
Get Access