Ophelia's Codependency

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Though any character in Shakespeare's Hamlet could easily be the epitome of lunacy, there is no character more obviously unsound that Ophelia, whose personality is the embodiment of codependency. Every time Ophelia speaks the symptoms are apparent as she can not seem to converse about anything but men. This is stereotypical of women at the time,in society as much as in literature. One can not fully blame Ophelia however as she is a product of her time period and used by the other characters. Ophelia’s character not only confirms Hamlet's suspicions about women but serves as pawn in the metaphorical chess game between Claudius and Hamlet. Thought it could be argued that her abuse by then men in her life has contributed to if not caused her codependency, however, the characters in the play seem to think that it is because of her own weakness. When Hamlet speaks the words “frailty thy name is woman,” he was not referring to Ophelia, he may just have easily have been. There are two characters in particular that Ophelia tends to cling to, her father…show more content…
Ophelia seems to be the most genuinely hurt Hamlet’s theatrical “madness.” When Polonius uses her as a pawn to spy on Hamlet, she remarks “Oh woe is me, ‘T; have seen what I have seen, see what I see.”(3.3.162). Even though Ophelia is but a pawn she is still off put by Hamlet’s rejection and pitties herself for having witnessed him change. This is also self serving as she thinking of how Hamlet’’s madness will affect her rather than him, revealingly once more that Ophelia’s own emotional well being is dependent on people. This is detrimental, however, for Ophelia's as her one sided feelings for Hamlet allow her to be used as a pawn by both Claudius and Polonius as well as Hamlet. It is not clear whether Ophelia understand if she is pawn or not, however, this does not stop her from fulfilling the wishes of both
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