Ophelias Madness

Topics: Hamlet, Characters in Hamlet, Gertrude Pages: 3 (1002 words) Published: November 14, 2010
We see that Hamlet treatment of Ophelia because of this may be thestraw-that-breaks-the-camel's-back with respect to the pressure he puts onOphelia. Ophelia will become increasingly despondent and mad in thewake of Hamlet's rejection of her. In this sense,Ophelia is treated like an object by her family who strives to keep the manshe loves and that loves her away from her. Used bythe King, her father and brother, and abandoned by Hamlet; these externalpressures combine to cause Ophelia's bizarre madness and, ultimately, hersuicide. However, to win favorwith Claudius he uses her to spy on Hamlet so she can report his every wordor deed to him. Hefeigns madness and acts extremely cold and harsh with Ophelia. "Reading Ophelia's Madness." In Patrick Cheney, ed. The death of her father atthe hands of the man she loves, complete rejection by the man she loves andthe pressures on her conspire to cause Ophelia to ultimately take her life. Adding to Ophelia's pressures with respect to patriarchal controland domination is the plot of King Claudius and Polonius. He further berates her andtells her she should to a nunnery and refuse to bear children. Though Ophelia may betray Hamlet unwittingly and he may unwittinglyadd to the intense pressures on her in his anger at others, her madness isapparent as she sings nonsensical songs, "They bore him barefaced on thebier / Hey non nony, nony, hey nony / And in his grave rained many a tear -/ Fare you well my dove" (Shakespeare IV.v.164-167). Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. This strain is increased tenfold when Hamlet begins to treat herpoorly, because he knows he is being set up by Polonius and the King. Body Despite knowing Hamlet is in love with her, Ophelia is subjected toenormous pressure from her father and brother to be wary of men. This creates a great strain on Ophelia for she lovesHamlet. Not only 'occasions' are informing against Hamlet;Claudius and Polonius are conspiring against him too, and Ophelia,wittingly or not, is part...
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