“You should not have believed me, for virtue cannot so inoculate our old stock but we shall relish of it. I loved you not.” (3.1.118-120)
Hamlet is telling Ophelia that she should have never believed him; in reality he claims he never really loved her. When he asks where her father is she lies and says he is at home, when in fact he is hidden listening to the conversation. When Hamlet leaves the room, Ophelia is left heartbroken and confused. She is sure Hamlet has gone mad. Had she chosen Hamlet over Polonius her fate might have been better.
Soon after Ophelia’s father is killed by Hamlet, her madness becomes very apparent at this point. She begins to sing in a very crazed way to many people, including a song to Queen Gertrude. “He is dead and gone, lady, he is dead and gone, At his head a grassy-green turf, at his heel a stone. Oh, ho!” (4.5.37-45) She is in obvious mourning of her father. The death of Polonius is so soon after the betrayal of Hamlet. Her mind is overcome with grief and emotion and she cracks. Two very important people of her life are gone, in different senses. Her father is dead and Hamlet has turned his back on her, claiming she never meant anything to him. Not only are both absent from her life now but Hamlet was the reason for the death of Polonius. Sadly Ophelia never regains her sanity. Her death is announced in a beautiful poetic way by Queen Gertrude. “Fell in the weeping brook. Her clothes spread wide, and mermaid-like awhile they bore her up, which time she chanted snatches of old tune, as one incapable of her own distress, or like a creature native and indued unto that element.” (4.7.190-195) This first scene, involving the death of Ophelia, shows the first clues of a death at her own hand. The queen stated that after falling into the river, Ophelia’s dress ballooned up and created a flotation of sorts. Instead of