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Essay On Ophelia In Hamlet

Claudius’ investigations into Hamlet’s unusual behavior involved Ophelia. He wishes to unveil the nature of Hamlet’s apparent madness. Throughout the beginning of the play the reader is aware of Hamlet’s anger towards his mother which he releases upon Ophelia after she is instructed to meet with him in the lobby. Claudius and Polonius direct Ophelia towards Hamlet and urges her to tell him that she wishes to return the affection that she had refuted from Hamlet. Hamlet’s inner conflict with his mother manifests itself in his actions as he suggests that Ophelia becomes a nun instead of a “breeder of sinners” (III. i. 123). This statement appears to be directed towards Gertrude as he wishes that she does not breed children with Claudius; who he claims is a sinner. Hamlet follows this by denouncing women and marriages as he states: “I say, we will have no more marriages. Those that are married already, all but one, shall live” (III. i. 149). Hamlet speaks of Gertrude and Claudius. As he leaves, Claudius and Polonius unveil themselves and discuss Hamlet’s conversation. They appear to not be convinced that he speaks because of love for Ophelia. Infact, Claudius states that Hamlet’s sadness is dangerous – “and I do doubt the hatch and the disclose will be some danger” (III. i. 169). During this segment of the play, the reader is shown that Hamlet’s actions are causing Claudius to further investigate the problem which will lead to Claudius’ order of killing Hamlet.

Moreover, Hamlet’s wishes to mask his actions by feigning madness. He hopes that if the others see his actions as acts of madness, they will not think too much of it. His attempts at feigning madness lead him to not reveal the location of Polonius’ body after killing him. As …

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…ne may wonder if Hamlet’s inner conflict would have led to his demise if he were to be a better sword fighter.

To conclude, Hamlet’s inner conflicts were the reason that he struggled with his task and that struggle lead to his death. His inner conflicts got the best of him and progressively increase the difficulty of his mission by allowing Claudius to become more aware of the situation. Hamlet’s procrastination, distrust of women, and feigning of madness resulted in a series of events that rendered him incapable of finishing his task quickly and effectively in order to ensure his safety. Hamlet was only able to complete his task whilst his body was under the effect of adrenalin limiting his thoughts and making him more impulsive. As a result, it was only until he forgot about his inner conflict, that Hamlet was able to kill Claudius but, alas, it was too late.

Shakespeare’s Hamlet and its Gertrude

Hamlet and its Gertrude

How queenly is the current queen in Shakespeare’s tragic drama Hamlet? Is she an unprincipled opportunist? A passion-dominated lover? A wife first and mother last? Let’s study her life in this play.

Courtney Lehmann and Lisa S. Starks in “Making Mother Matter: Repression, Revision, and the Stakes of ‘Reading Psychoanalysis Into’ Kenneth Branagh’s Hamlet,” comment on the contamination of the queen in Shakespeare’s Hamlet:

Hamlet, a play that centres on the crisis of the masculine subject and its “radical confrontation with the sexualized maternal body,” foregrounds male anxiety about mothers, female sexuality, and hence, sexuality itself. Obsessed with the corruption of the flesh, Hamlet is pathologically fixated on questions of his own origin and destination — questions which are activated by his irrepressible attraction to and disgust with the “contaminated” body of his mother. (1)

At the outset of the drama, Hamlet’s mother is apparently disturbed by her son’s appearance in solemn black at the gathering of the court, and she requests of him:

Good Hamlet, cast thy nighted colour off,

And let thine eye look like a friend on Denmark.

Do not for ever with thy vailed lids

Seek for thy noble father in the dust:

Thou know’st ’tis common; all that lives must die,

Passing through nature to eternity. (1.2)

The queen obviously considers her son’s dejection to result from his father’s demise. She joins the king in asking Hamlet to stay in Elsinore rather than returning to Wittenberg. Respectfully the prince replies, “I shall in all my best obey you, madam.” So at the outset the audience notes a decidedl…

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Coleridge, Samuel Taylor. Lectures and Notes on Shakspere and Other English Poets. London : George Bell and Sons, 1904. p. 342-368.

Jorgensen, Paul A. “Hamlet.” William Shakespeare: the Tragedies. Boston: Twayne Publ., 1985. N. pag.

Lehmann, Courtney and Lisa S. Starks. “Making Mother Matter: Repression, Revision, and the Stakes of ‘Reading Psychoanalysis Into’ Kenneth Branagh’s Hamlet.” Early Modern Literary Studies 6.1 (May, 2000): 2.1-24 .

Shakespeare, William. The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark. Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 1995. No line nos.

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