Ophelia Character Analysis

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In Hamlet by William Shakespeare, societal structure is thrown into turmoil in Hamlet when the old king dies, and his brother takes the crown and the queen to be his own. Normally, the crown would go to the king’s grown son, Hamlet, yet this title has been usurped by his uncle. Hamlet, plotting to expose his uncle, begins to fake madness, which shocks the castle. The many characters in the play are taken along for the ride as Hamlet whips up a tempest of chaos in Elsinore. One of the characters dragged into the disarray is Ophelia, the daughter of the King’s advisor and Hamlet’s love interest. Ophelia is pulled in many different directions, and is used at the whims of the men in her life. She suffers greatly throughout the tragedy by none of her own faults. She is dragged into this conflict, yet she stays. Ophelia is a dutiful daughter, representing the "fairer sex" perfectly. She is obedient, loyal, and subservient in every way. She is also intelligent and witty, a quality often forgotten by those around her, conscious of the power dynamics around her. Yet it is her submissiveness, her willingness to please everyone, that ultimately seals her fate. She becomes the pawn of her father and the king and doesn 't have the ability to fight back, allowing herself to be taken advantage of. Her subservientness takes over her intelligence.

Ophelia is the "perfect" daughter, and will do all that the powerful men in her life tell her to do. She isn’t given the ability to have options
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