Hamlet: Hamlet and Ophelia Essay

Submitted By ajw0624
Words: 601
Pages: 3

One of the most debated topics of William Shakesphere's Hamlet is the question of whether or not Hamlet truly loved Ophelia. Was there any room in his sorrowful heart for love? Or was his heart shattered by those he loved and trusted the most? “Hamlet names Ophelia as ‘woman’ and ‘frailty’: is she indeed representative of woman, and does her madness stand for the oppression of woman in society as well as in tragedy?” (Miola, Representing Ophelia: pg 283). At the beginning of this play, Hamlets feelings for Ophelia are sexual: it is lust which he feels for her. However this lust turns into love as the play goes on, and then despair as she rejects him. Hamlet experiences many different emotions for Ophelia during the play, but his love for her never changes.
At first, Hamlet feels love towards Ophelia. He expresses this love at the beginning of the play during Act I where he talks to her. We really start to realize Hamlets love for Ophelia in Act II, in his letter to Ophelia when he says, “Doubt truth to be a liar, but never doubt I love. (2.2.117-118). Hamlet expresses mixed feelings for Ophelia that confuse her, making her question whether or not his feelings for her were legitimate. Polonius advises Ophelia to stay away from Hamlet because they do not trust him. After Hamlet realizes a plan was developed to spy on him in order to figure out what is wrong with him, Hamlet realizes that no one can be trusted. At this point, Hamlets feelings change from love to concern.
Hamlet feels that all women are evil and rejects and insults Ophelia as his madness gets worse. Hamlet transfers the anger he feels toward his mother because of her marriage to Claudius, to Ophelia when she rejects him. Hamlet becomes more brutal in his rejection to Ophelia after she lies to him, because he loved her and thought he could trust her. He knows that Ophelia is spying on him for her father, and his rejection towards her worsens as he continues to despise his mother for her sins. Hamlet is more angry at his mother's relationship with Claudius than the murder of his father but his anger transfers over to Ophelia to cover up his