Ophelia: the Victim of Hamlet's Actions

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Lakyn Stewart
Drama Essay
4-28-2013
Ophelia: The Victim of Hamlet’s Actions
William Shakespeare’s production, Hamlet, is based off of tragedy and revenge. Prince Hamlet learns that the mournful death of his father is indeed a purposely carried out plan devised by no other than his uncle Claudius. Claudius murders the king for selfish intentions of taking over the throne along with King Hamlet’s wife, Gertrude. He is successful in following out his disposition. Hamlet devotes his soul and mind to efforts of seeking out revenge on Claudius. In the meantime, his love for Ophelia is put on the backburner, which consequently leads to her insanity. Hamlet decides to hold a play in the castle, where the actors put on a show for the new king. Claudius is appalled at the nature of this play when he realizes that the plot reveals the truth of King Hamlet’s murder. Claudius fears that Hamlet has gone mad and in his defense orders that Hamlet be sent to England. Hamlet is outraged and confronts his mother about her devious actions. He stabs Polonius who is eavesdropping behind the curtain because he thinks it is Claudius. After Polonius’s death, Ophelia truly hit a breaking point; she is seen as being grief-stricken on the verge of going insane. She drowns not long after her father’s death. Her brother, Laertes, returns and hears that Hamlet is the cause of all this death; he plans to get revenge on Hamlet. Claudius uses Laertes to kill Hamlet in a fencing battle; he poisons the sword that will strike Hamlet and the glass of wine that was given to him. Gertrude dies from the wine; Laertes is poisoned with his own sword as well as Hamlet. However, Hamlet stabs Claudius with the fatal sword and forces his to drink the remaining wine. In the end they all face death. When focusing on Shakespeare’s character Ophelia, it is relevant to consider her characteristics and how they contribute to the play itself. She is a character of great innocence that is seen as being pure and...
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