Did Hamlet Truely Love Ophelia?

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He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not
An underlying problem throughout Hamlet (Shakespeare) is the relationship between Hamlet and Ophelia and whether or not the prince truly loves her. Young Hamlet comes across as being a male chauvinist, especially towards his mother. His famous quote “Frailty! Thy name is woman” (1. 2. 146) has been used by scholars to prove that he could not have truly loved Ophelia. On the contrary, Hamlet’s love for Ophelia is so true and sincere even though at times it seems otherwise. Throughout the play, Hamlet’s love is often mistaken for lunacy. With Hamlet’s sanity or insanity uncertain, it can be difficult to decipher if his love for Ophelia is sincere. Moments after Laertes leaves, Ophelia is in shock because Hamlet has just run into her room, takem her by the hands and stares deeply into her eyes for a long time. Ophelia illustrates his odd behavior when she describes him as “[looking] as if he had been loosed out of hell” (2. 1. 84) At first glance this seems like Hamlet is merely insane, but he has been restricted from seeing his love by Polonius so he is simply in shock to finally see her. Before this scene, Hamlet sees the ghost of his father who tells Hamlet to avenge his death by killing Claudius, “Revenge his foul and most unnatural murder” (1. 5. 25). The fact that Hamlet chooses to see Ophelia over anyone else directly after this event means that he finds comfort by being with her. After Ophelia tells her father about this account, Polonius realizes that Hamlet loves his daughter. One can see this confirmation when Polonius says “This is the very ecstasy of love;” (2. 1. 103). Given these circumstances, Hamlet’s ‘insanity’ can be justified as simply being lovesick. Letters between the two lovers have been shared, and eventually found by Polonius. In these letters, which no person but Ophelia is to read, Hamlet professes his love for her in very dramatic, poetic ways, “But that I love thee best, O most best, believe it. Adieu”...
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