I Love You Once Analysis

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In Shakespeare's Hamlet, Hamlet struggles to reconcile his love for Ophelia with the disgust he feels for both her imperfections and humanity’s. Hamlet cannot overcome the corruption of Ophelia and humanity to trust or love anyone. His world has turned upside down with his father’s death and mother’s sudden marriage to his uncle, causing him to question if he even believes in love. Hamlets statements of “I did love you once” and “I love you not”, while working to hurt Ophelia by withdrawing their once seemingly impenetrable love, also show how he doesn’t believe he understood love in the first place (3.1.112-13,116). Before saying he once loved Ophelia, Hamlet prolamins “the power of beauty will sooner transform honesty from what it is to …show more content…
Hamlet repeatedly tells Ophelia to go to a nunnery, which carries a couple interpretations. One shows his anger by using nunnery as a slang term for brothel, but another shows that Hamlet wants Ophelia out of humanity's despair. By stating “Why wouldst thou be a breeder of sinners?” Hamlet shows how he doesn’t want Ophelia to continue the human cycle of degradation (3.1.118). Hamlet ask why she would want to bring children into such a world, why she would even desire love, marriage, and motherhood when even he “could accuse … [himself] … of such things that it were better my mother had not bore me” (3.1.121-20). Still he struggles with more than just his relationship with Ophelia. He can’t grasp or defend why she would even want to participate in a world where all “are arrant knaves” (3.1.123). Hamlet wants Ophelia to go off “to a nunnery” where she can live an honorable life as an honorable woman (3.1.132) Otherwise she would live in a marriage where she’d lie and flirt and make “monsters” of men (3.1.132). Hamlet wants better for Ophelia, honor, purity, honesty, even though he knows the impossibility of Ophelia regaining and keeping those