Hamlet Ophelianity And Madness Analysis

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Tragedy is a genre of writing determined by the extent of pain that the characters within its pages feel or experience. Whether through emotional turmoil, their own death or even the death of a loved one, a majority of tragic characters experience pain and defeat. For Hamlet, it was the death of his father, the previous king, who also revealed the horrid state that his beloved homeland of Denmark was in, and in addition the failed relationship with the woman he loved, Ophelia. Drastic changes in behavior also started gradually becoming more apparent within the young Prince. These events drove Hamlet to what he convinced to be an act of pretend lunacy in which he created, unknowingly to Hamlet his control is false. With the inclusion of the…show more content…
In the play there is an ambiguous connection between sexuality and madness that is more than just subtly thematic but is represented verbally at the same time (Hunt). Sexual tension is expressed with the fact that the young couple share erotomania; a disease that was believed to bring about irrational thinking and disruption in abstinent people (mainly youth) because of their refusal to have coitus, making them “mad by being a maid” (Hunt). Throughout the play Hamlet makes several “approaches” towards Ophelia which are unwanted. Ophelia expresses her complaints of his advances “my lord, as I was sewing. . .to speak of horrors, he comes before me” (2.1.87-94). Sexual rejection not only keeps Hamlet in a state of madness but also Ophelia. Since both are “honest” they are suppressing the primal instinct that would help keep them socially and mentally functional. The maid qualities affect Hamlet much greater then it affects Ophelia and leaves him “castrated of power”; both of the revenge he has to face in Denmark’s hierarchy and his personal intimacy with Ophelia (Hunt). Overwhelmed by his madness Hamlet finally severs all relationship ties to Ophelia through an overly dramatic breakup monolog “I did love you once. . .Get thee to a nunnery!”

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