How Does Shakespeare Present Ophelia

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Shakespeare’s Hamlet is a revenge calamity which concentrates on his wish and effort to solve his father’s murder. Throughout the course of the play, the relationship between Hamlet and Ophelia could be described as a rollercoaster. Although Ophelia is not in every single scene in Hamlet, her impact on the play is highly noted. One way a reader could interpret her presence is because of how tragic her experiences in life is. She experiences the misfortune of love and security, but in order for her death to be truly tragic, she has to come to terms with the realization of her powerlessness without the men in her life. In her madness, Ophelia eventually does make this realization and because of her lack of alternatives, she accepts death.…show more content…
While unmarried she would have to obey her father and once married she would have to obey her husband. The text proves Ophelia is a proper woman of her time. She does exactly as her father tells her to without complaining. Even if she does not want to obey the rules, when her father gave the order, she had to follow through with it. No questions asked. Her true self is clear when she has a conversation about Hamlet, first with Laertes, her brother, then with Polonius, her father. After Laertes advises Ophelia to fear Hamlet and to be cautious with him, she replies by telling him not to lecture her (Act: I: Scene: 3: Lines 48-50). She is able to criticize her brother to some extent, but when her father gives her the same lecture as he did and tells her not to accept Hamlet’s hand, she simply replies, “I shall obey, my lord” (Act: I: Scene 3: Line 135). This early scene in the play sets up Ophelia’s mood. Although Ophelia wants to believe Hamlet is true to her and “Hath given countenance to his speech…With almost all the holy vows of heaven” (Act: I: Scene: 3: Lines: 112-113), she must listen to her father and follow his orders. Essentially, Ophelia was the property of her father. Thus, Ophelia’s feelings and desires are bottled-up by her inability to freely voice herself in a strict household and
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