Hamlet’s Love for Ophelia

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Updated: Apr 30, 2024
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Throughout Hamlet, the profound love he once confessed at Ophelia’s funeral is now being questioned by many readers if whether or not this was true love. We have to ask: did Hamlet really love Ophelia? In this essay on Hamlet’s love for Ophelia, we look at that. The word love is the intense feeling of affection toward another person. It’s a profound and caring attraction that forms an emotional attachment. Hamlet demonstrated the opposite of these characteristics; his love for Ophelia was influenced by many traumatic experiences he encountered in his own life.

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He transformed into a self-centered man who was only devoted to finding revenge against his evil uncle, King Claudius. Although Hamlet claims his great love for Ophelia, his actions say otherwise.

Hamlet faced many obstacles that led him to question his love. He witnessed his own mother marry the brother of her dead husband months after his death. His mother’s deceiving behavior made him incredibly weary of love and poisoned his idea of it. He winds up transferring a lot of this anger – already poised to hop from one woman to another – to Ophelia. As he has lost his faith in his beloved mother, he lost his faith in Ophelia because those were the two most important females in his life. Hamlet is dangerously strict about love and sex. He is appalled by Gertrude’s show of her pleasure at Claudius’ touch, and now he clearly loathes women. Hamlet strongly believes that women’s love is only temporary, “Ophelia “Tis brief, my lord Hamlet.

As woman’s love”. As he feels discouraged by love, the reason being that if he allowed himself to love Ophelia, he feared discovering that what happened to his mother would happen to him as well. This shows in Hamlet’s change of attitude and rejection: ‘I lov’d you not’ and his sexual innuendo that he doesn’t love Ophelia. Hamlet states that beauty doesn’t define who you truly are or what you’re capable of. “That if you be honest and fair, your honesty should admit no discourse to your beauty’. Since beauty’s power can more easily change a good girl into a seducer, then the power of goodness can change a beautiful girl into a virgin. He believes he has solved a great puzzle that he used to love her.

Hamlet accuses women of contributing to the world’s dishonesty by painting their faces to appear more beautiful than they are. Working himself into a rage, Hamlet denounces Ophelia, women, and humankind in general, saying that he wishes to end all marriages. As he storms out, Ophelia mourns the “noble mind” that has now lapsed into apparent madness. The reality she experiences is murky and overwhelming. Hamlet suspects that Ophelia’s love for him is insincere; his suspicions are reinforced when he catches her acting as the decoy for Claudius and Polonius. She is one of many people who betray or abandon Hamlet, as far as he’s concerned. His father betrayed him by dying; Claudius betrayed him by ‘coming between the election and my hopes,’ usurping the kingdom that was rightly Hamlet’s. Gertrude betrayed him by siding with Claudius. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern betray him by agreeing to spy on him.

Ophelia betrays him by agreeing to break up with him and then agreeing to become a decoy in her father’s plot. Hamlet starts to explode with anger: If thou dost marry, I’ll give thee this plague for thy dowry: be thou as chaste as ice, as pure as snow, thou shalt not escape calumny. Get thee to a nunnery; go farewell. Or, if thou wilt needs marry, marry a fool; for wise men know well enough what monsters you make of them. To a nunnery, go, and quickly too. Farewell”. Hamlet has not confided in Ophelia about his anger and condemnation of Gertrude’s ‘incest,’ and so she’s shocked and confused by the accusations of disloyalty and ‘wantonness’ he displaces onto her. (Smith 97) Ophelia’s betrayal hurts more because it’s similar to his mother’s betrayal, having them both make pacts with Claudius, and also because he had feelings for her. Hamlet is now realizing that everyone he trusts and loves has let him down.

Thus, it is my that the thesis statement real love he has for Ophelia is proved by the declarations he has made. Ostensibly the promise would have been kept except for her acceptance of his invitation to enter his chamber and engage in sex, but just as likely is the possibility that the young man never intended to marry her, his ‘promise’ being no more than a cheap but successful seduction scheme. The sexual double standard leaves him with impunity, unfazed, but ruins her., “He took me by the wrist and held me hard, Then goes he to the length of all his arm.”

Frequently Asked Questions
What proves that Hamlet did love Ophelia?

There is no singular solution to this query. Various individuals may contend that Hamlet’s profound anguish over Ophelia’s demise is evidence of his genuine love for her. Conversely, some may assert that Hamlet’s intense fury upon learning of her death indicates otherwise. In the end, the response to this query is subjective.

Why does Hamlet pretend not to love Ophelia?

Hamlet feigns indifference to Ophelia to make her love him more. By pretending not to care for her, he can force her to prove her love for him. Additionally, Hamlet likely realizes that if he openly expresses his love for Ophelia, her father will forbid the two from seeing each other, which would prevent Hamlet from getting close to Claudius.

Is Hamlet genuinely sorry for Ophelia's death?

Hamlet is genuinely sorry for Ophelia’s death. He expresses his sorrow in a number of ways, including his words to Horatio in Act V, Scene 2: “The funeral baked meats / Did coldly furnish forth the marriage tables. / Would I had met my dearest foe in battle, / Rather than have Ophelia slain.”

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Hamlet’s Love for Ophelia. (2021, Apr 26). Retrieved from https://papersowl.com/examples/hamlets-love-for-ophelia/