Hamlet's Love for Ophelia

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Intro to Literature
Drama Paper

Hamlet’s Love
In the tragic play Hamlet, written by William Shakespeare, one of the most common themes found throughout the story’s plot is the theme of love. Shakespeare interlaces many layers of thematic love through the complex relationships of Hamlet; primarily between Hamlet and Ophelia. From Act one until the final scene of the play, Hamlet struggles with the decision to kill Claudius while he concurrently tries to comprehend the chaos surrounding him. As the story unfolds and the tensions build between Hamlet and his loved ones, Hamlet’s relationship to Ophelia is profoundly impacted. One common argument that rises from studying the tragic story of Hamlet is the questioning of Hamlet’s love; specifically for Ophelia.  Many often conclude that Hamlet never truly loves Ophelia. However, deep underneath Hamlet and Ophelia’s crumbling relationship is a man who must make a grim decision. Hamlet chooses to sacrifice his relationship to Ophelia in order to avenge his father’s death.       The progression of Hamlet’s relationship to Ophelia is deeply complex in nature. Throughout the story’s plot, the validity of Hamlet’s love for Ophelia often comes into question. A scene that many often use to define Hamlet and Ophelia’s relationship is in Act 3, scene 1, when Hamlet denies his love for Ophelia. However, it is difficult to conclude in this scene if Hamlet is revealing his true feelings for Ophelia or not. As Hamlet realizes that Claudius and Polonius have set up a plot to spy on him through Ophelia, one could assume that Hamlet uses antic disposition to hide his love for Ophelia. Furthermore, when Hamlet realizes that Ophelia is participating in the plot to spy on him, one could presume that Hamlet’s anger with Ophelia overwhelms his true feelings for her. Hamlet’s love for Ophelia is ultimately revealed through his love letter and his confessions at Ophelia’s funeral. Hamlet’s letter to Ophelia is presumed to be...
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