Ophelias Flowers

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January 14, 2012
Ophelia and her Flowers
Flowers; there expected to be over 10 000 different species of this aesthetic plant, and each can have a different meaning. In the play Hamlet, Ophelia, a girl raised by obedience and manipulation, uses these flowers in a fit of madness and their archetypal meanings to express her thoughts, feelings, and hopes towards her once thought as lover, Hamlet. As the play goes on, you can see that more is revealed in her relationship with Hamlet, and that Ophelia isn’t as innocent and virtuous as she portrays.

To begin, in a fit of madness Ophelia begins to give flowers with embedded meanings to recipients who seem most fitting. She states, There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance. Pray you, love, Remember. And there is pansies, that’s for thoughts.

………………………………………………………………………………………….. There's fennel for you, and columbines. There's rue for you, and here's some for me. We may call it herb of grace o' Sundays. O, you must wear your rue with a difference! There's a daisy. I would give you some violets, but they wither'd all when my father died. They say he made a good end. (Hamlet IV, v, 199-209)

I believe that she gave the rosemary to Hamlet. Rosemary is associated with remembrance between two lovers, (Stabler, 2000) which was once the relationship she believed that they had. She may use this in hope that he has not forgotten about her. Whether or not Hamlet was deceiving her, he definitely once made Ophelia believe that he loved her, and he even states. “I did love you once.”(Hamlet III,i. 126) What made Hamlet lose his feelings for Ophelia? Of perhaps they were never there. Ophelia spends a life time of obeying her male-counterparts. They constantly manipulated her into doing or thinking things that were not of character. For example, she never once thought twice about spying on Hamlet for her father, or doing every single small task he asked her to do, or answering each personal question he asked. Who is to...
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