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.
Ophelia’s Insane Young Love Young love carries many emotions. In Hamlet, by Shakespeare, two characters share unsolved and mysterious emotions. Ophelia and Hamlet are young lovers separated by a series of disastrous events. Many people think that Hamlet was simply playing with Ophelia, and didn’t really love her; a fact that could drive one to an asylum. Did she really love him?
Not one character in Hamlet commits suicide other than Ophelia because she could not handle her heart break with Lord Hamlet and the death of her father. Lord Hamlet did not commit suicide after his father’s death, nor did Laertes. However, Lord Hamlet did contemplate suicide, but that was mostly because of Gertrude was not listening to him and his wishes against her
Ophelia is Hamlet’s love interest. As they spend time together Ophelia starts to fall in love with Hamlet and begins to see a future with him. In act one scene three Ophelia’s brother Laertes confronts her about her relationship with Hamlet before he returns to school in Paris. Soon after Laertes says something to Ophelia about not having trust in Hamlet their father Polonius agrees with him and says” This is for all: I would not, in plain terms, from this time forth Have you so slander any moment leisure As to give words or talk with the Lord Hamlet. Look to ’t, I charge you.
Hamlet and Ophelia “This was sometime a paradox, but now the time gives it proof. I did love you once… I loved you not” (3.1.114,119). Confusion clouds the audience’s judgement reading this quote from Hamlet. His paradox insinuates that he is insane and truly did not love her. Contrary to belief though, this quote was a way to set his “mousetrap” and force her to be in the background of his grand scheme.
Shakespearean Misogyny In William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, the two women in the play, Gertrude and Ophelia, are repeatedly manipulated and exploited by the men in their lives. They submit to male authority and oppressive societal customs because they have no other options. Gertrude and Ophelia are placed in this situation because of a male-dominated society that blames women for sexual immorality and corruption. Hamlet’s views about women are consistent with the commonly-held views of his peers. His beliefs shape the audience’s perceptions of women throughout the play.
Misogyny, by definition, is the dislike towards women for a particular motive. In William Shakespeare’s play, Hamlet, Shakespeare elucidates his misogynistic tendencies through the characters in the play—particularly Hamlet. The role of women in Hamlet is little short of misogynistic as Hamlet consistently displays throughout the play evidence of misogynistic behavior through his views of women being cruel, adulterous, and frail. Fundamentally, there are merely two female characters in Hamlet; Ophelia and Gertrude. Though Ophelia does not intend on wounding Hamlet emotionally, she does so for being submissive to her father which conforms to the misogynistic attitude of women being powerless and pathetic as Ophelia is under control by
Hamlet encounters Ophelia, his estranged lover, after mulling over his own melancholy during the first scene of Act III. It is the first time that Ophelia and Hamlet have seen each other since Hamlet frightened Ophelia by her intruding upon her privacy and barging into her closet while she was sewing. Neither party is particularly pleased to see one another and they are both vocal about their discontent. Their interaction revolves around honesty and its importance to Hamlet, drawing comparisons between his own honesty and the honesty of other characters such as Ophelia and Gertrude. It establishes tension between Hamlet’s values and his own actions and the appearance on one’s intentions versus the reality.
Hamlet repeatedly acknowledges his faults, most precisely to her. In conversation, he tells Ophelia how he is guilty of such terrible things that he shouldn’t have been born, and that he proud, revengeful, and ambitious (3.1.132-135). Hamlet is fully telling her his faults and that, while being scathing towards her, he is no better. Even after her death, he continues to express his flaws around her presence. This is seen at her funeral, for which he says to her brother, Laertes, “For though I am splenitive and rash, I have in me something dangerous, which let thy wisdom fear,” (5.1.275-276).