Ophelian Symbolism In Hamlet

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In Shakespeare’s The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, Ophelia intentionally kills herself. Ophelia, stricken to her core by the heinous murder of her Father, Polonium, began experiencing hysteria. Spiraling into despair, Ophelia quickly drifted into madness eventually unable to coherently answer questions. In her final hours, Ophelia surrounded herself with the beauty of nature. Gertrude states, “Her clothes spread out wide in the water, and buoyed her up for a while as she sang bits of old hymns, acting like someone who doesn’t realize the danger she’s in, or like someone completely accustomed to danger”. This statement shows Ophelia’s candid assumption about death, her willingness to put herself in danger. Gertrude explained to Laertes, “Climbing into the tree to hang the wreath of weeds on the hanging branches, she and her flowers fell into the gurgling brook”. What can be concluded from this is the circumstances of Ophelia's death. Two symbols appear on Ophelia's tombstone. These symbols, a wild wreath, and a willow tree was chosen because they represented her innocence. Gertrude states,“There’s a willow that leans over the…show more content…
To me, this song really resonated with the circumstances of Ophelia's death. Ophelia ultimately chose to drown when she refused help. The song starts, “Lay me down on a bed of roses. Sink me in the river at dawn. Send me away with the words of a love song.” This quote could be compared to Ophelia’s need to be surrounded by nature, her decision to drown, and how she longs for love. Those around Ophelia were astonished by her untimely death. As suggested by the songs title, Ophelia, died a young adolescent. Gertrude states, “I once hoped you’d be my Hamlet’s wife. I thought I’d be tossing flowers on your wedding bed, my sweet girl, not on your grave.” This statement shows the people closest to Ophelia never dreamed her life would end in such a
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