The most evident and natural of all hierarchal relationships is that of parent and child. This exists from the most primitive and savage of beasts to the most evolved and developed of primates. Thus, nearly all relationships can be made synonymous and equitable with this archetypal hierarchy. The parent-child relationship is perhaps the most delicate, intricate, and dysfunctional of all relationships in existence. Parents regularly disappoint and disillusion their children, and vice versa. Children rebel from the standards set by their parents only to readopt them when necessary. Such is the case in David Mamet’s play Oleanna in which the two main characters, John and Carol, assume a rather dysfunctional father-daughter relationship. The actions taken by John throughout the course of the work demarcate the assumption that his exploits are to be viewed as incestuous with respect to the rapport he and his student share. Carol, with the support of her “group,” charges her college professor with sexual harassment, rape, and battery. She thus threatens to annihilate every aspect of the life for which he has strived so terribly long.
In Greco-Roman mythology, the son of Laius and Jocasta unknowingly killed his father and married his mother, thus fulfilling the statements of the divine oracle at Delphi. Similarly, the sister of Orestes aided Orestes, himself, in avenging the death of Agamemnon, their father, by killing their mother, Clytemnestra, and her lover, Aegisthus. These two yet to be identified mythological figures, Oedipus and Electra, respectively, have lent their names to modern psychology. Oedipus and Electra complexes are characterised by perverse manifestations in w…
… middle of paper …
…e beats her maliciously. Afterwards, due to the stage directions, John does not appear to acknowledge the events of the past minutes; “He moves to his desk, and arranges the papers on it” (Mamet, 641). This is typical of domestic abuse in that the abuser does not concede to the veracity of the maltreatment. Just after the incident, Carol mocks and taunts her professor, as a small child would do. She states while looking at and away from him, “Yes. That’s right . . . yes. That’s right” (Mamet, 641). This taunt is quite reminiscent of one a juvenile would put forth.
Mamet, David. Oleanna. Schilb and Clifford. 612-641.
Schilb, John, and John Clifford, eds. Making Literature Matter: An Anthology for Readers and Writers. Boston: Bedford/St. MartinÕs, 1999.
University of Maryland at College Park Pamphlet on Sexual Harrassment. College Park. 1997.
Hamlet’s love for Ophelia
Many people have read Hamlet, and may or may not have been confused about two specific character’s affection for one another. Many questions are asked as to whether or not Hamlet truly loves Ophelia. Not only do people wonder if he ever loved her, but they wonder what has caused Hamlet’s actions towards her. Another question that was raised was whether or not Hamlet was responsible for Ophelia’s suicide. William Shakespeare does a great job at hiding Hamlet’s love for Ophelia, but there is evidence that shows how he truly does love her.
Within the first act of the play, Ophelia and her father, Polonius, talk about Hamlet and Ophelia’s alone time together. Ophelia tells Polonius how Hamlet has been a gentleman. Polonius goes on to say how passion will drive boys to tell girls anything to have sex with them. After, Polonius tells Ophelia she may no longer see Hamlet, and Ophelia agrees to obey her father. In the second act of the play, Ophelia comes to her father frightened because of Hamlet’s actions towards her. Ophelia says
“My lord, as I was sewing in my closet,
Lord Hamlet, with his doublet all unbraced,
No hat upon his head, his stockings fouled,
Ungartered, and down-gyved to his ankle;
Pale as his shirt, his knees knocking each other,
And with a look so piteous in purport
As if he had been loosed out of hell
To speak of horrors, he comes before me” (2.1.87-94).
In modern day English, this means that Hamlet came into Ophelia’s bedroom with his clothes messed up, no hat on, his socks were hanging low, and his knees were knocking. Ophelia also said, Lord Hamlet had a look on his face as if he was let out of hell. Hamlet’s actions leave Ophelia wondering what caused him to act this way. Once Polonius heard of Lord Hamlet…
… middle of paper …
…that Hamlet has put her under so much stress, she didn’t mind dying. All in all, Hamlet is responsible for Ophelia’s death because he was the one who killed her father and put her through so much stress.
Many questions were asked towards the affection between Hamlet and Ophelia. Questions like, did Hamlet really love Ophelia, what caused Hamlet to act in such a way, and was Hamlet responsible for Ophelia’s death. After reading the play, one will come to conclusion that Hamlet did love Ophelia dearly and only acted in such a way because of his plan for revenge. Hamlet was also responsible for Ophelia’s death because of her father’s death and the way he acted towards her.
“Hamlet.” SparkNotes. SparkNotes LLC, 2013. Web. 5 Feb. 2014.
Shakespeare, William. Hamlet. Ed. Paul Moliken. Clayton: Pretwick House Literary Touchstone
Classics, 2005. Print.