Essay on Shakespeare’s Hamlet.
Ophelia’s foremost tragic flaw is that she attends to those around her, but not what’s deeply imbedded in her heart. Therefore, it causes Ophelia to be put into a difficult situation. She is torn between her genuine love for Hamlet versus the implements her father puts on her regarding the avoidance of Hamlet. Her father had primarily forbidden their relationship, as Ophelia had been seen as a lower status than Hamlet. Hamlet was destined to rule a kingdom and become King, while Ophelia had to maintain her virtue and innocence just in order to remain pure and valuable. Right from the opening, she was already ordained and placed into society without any room to develop. Throughout the play, Ophelia is truly tragic in the sense that she is used as a pond, and manipulated carelessly by her loved ones without a single sense of realization, and continues to follows orders obediently. Originally, Polonius denies Ophelia’s access to Hamlet, and vice versa. Ophelia then accordingly obeys and follows his orders. However, after the assumption from Polonius, regarding Hamlet’s madness, he believed it was due to the fact that Ophelia had been forbidden to see him. He voices his assumption towards the king, attempting to mend their relationship back together, “Which done, she took the fruits of my advice, And he, repelled- a short tale to make- Fell into a sadness.” (II, II, 145-147). Polonius is concerned not with Ophelia’s well-being, but rather his position in the kingdom and whether he could marry off his daughter to a King, “At such a time I’ll loose my daughter to him” (II, II, 162) This clearly demonstrates one of the other events in the play concerning Ophelia, and how she in maniputed and used in order to satisfy and accommodate to others desires and wishes.
The incident on where Ophelia is exposed with the greatest amount of tragedy belongs to the scene where she becomes truly mad, due to the manipulation and loss of her father. She first lost the man whom she fell in love with, cared for and had affections towards. Several months later, she lost the other man whom was a big influence in her life – her father. After learning about the loss of her father, she loses all sense of humanity, caroling abnormal tunes in front of the King and Queen, “Tomorrow is Saint Valentine’s day, All in the morning betime, And I a maid at your window, To be your Valentine.” (IV, V, 48-51). Her brother had his leave towards France, leaving her unaccompanied in the castle, and reality – also in her world. This demonstrates strongly towards Ophelia, and how she was victimized. With the whole process of all the men leaving her gradually, it brings forth the concept of her never truly grasping the idea of a strong independent woman, who can survive without a man in their life, as well as strive on with a confident backbone. She instead lived her life under the control of men, therefore weakening her when left alone. This then leads her into an unfortunate and unseen trap with no sense of direction in life nor a sense of reality. As a result, with the death of her father, the loss of her beloved, she collapsed mentally and become psychologically ill. She no longer possessed any will power to continue alone. By gaining the reliance of men, (need to reword this…) she developed into a woman who never once attained a feminine attitude.
Women who have a strong backbone, and decide to act on their beliefs in life are often the most strongest and fearful ones out there. They have independence, self-esteem and a clear distinction in their minds whether an action can be result in a positive or negative manner. This statement can evidently contrast with Ophelia, who dealt with every situation in a senseless, naive method. However, she had no choice but to allow others to manipulate her world, as she had no sense of reality or recognition of the truth. In her world, it truly came to a tragic ending, as she lost everything she had – even her own thoughts.
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