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Ophelia's Downfall

By Artisticswimmer Jan 03, 2013 1051 Words
Rachael Markley
Ophelia Discussion
1. What might have led to Ophelia’s downfall was that she intentionally killed herself to maybe save herself from any further shame that would fall upon her because she has been dishonored by Hamlet and she might be possibly “with child” and also to the loss of her father. In Act 1 Scene 3 pg.45, Ophelia tells her father that Hamlet has proclaimed his love to her, and then in Act 2 Scene 1 pg.79, she tells him that Hamlet has gone crazy and was acting as such when he entered her room all disheveled. In Act 3 Scene 1 pg.131, Hamlet had blown up on Ophelia and telling her that she is a whore and that she needed to get herself to a nunnery. Yelling at her and dishonoring her by that which she was being called. She was also being confused and slightly dishonored by Hamlet when they were watching the play in Act 3 Scene2 pg. 143. The last straw was when Hamlet had killed her father, the only person who had been there for her and seemed to be helping her. 2. My opinion of Ophelia’s downfall did not change because of the movie, if anything it helped me to understand what was happening and strengthen my opinion by giving me the visual examples that I needed. In the David Tenant film, Ophelia was portrayed that she has gone completely mad since Hamlet has dishonored her because he does not come to her anymore, she also has gone completely mad as a result of her father’s death by Hamlet. The Olivia Karter film, had her messing with a guard and talking to herself about how Hamlet is not coming to her anymore, and she seems to have become mentally insane. 3. The Article claims that”…in the medieval romances, a parley typically followed a declaration of love until love freely proffered was freely returned.” In the play, Hamlet had professed his love to Ophelia but Ophelia did not profess her love in return for him, since her father told her not to. This might explain why Hamlet went all crazy on her; he did not receive the same love that he professed to Ophelia.( pg.131-133) * In the Article, it is said that “In the love ideal that Dane and Castiglione formed, we can discern the inferior position the Renaissance noblewomen held in the relation of the sexes by comparison with her male counterpart and with her medieval predecessor as well.” In Hamlet is portrayed as the inferior character in the case between Polonius and Hamlet, since Polonius is her father or predecessor and Hamlet is her love as is the in the medieval time period. * As mentioned in the article, the question in the Courtier stands unresolved because at heart the spokesmen or Renaissance love were not really concerned about women or love at all. (203). This demonstrates a possible reason of why Hamlet has left Ophelia besides it being that she betrayed him. Being a woman, Ophelia has not idea that love to Hamlet did not concern about her or love at all.

4. Both Gertrude and Ophelia seem to be receiving the same treatment by Hamlet of being mad and upset with the both of them for different reasons as betraying him and also doing adulterated acts. Both women love and care for Hamlet but unfortunately overtime start to be ignored and hated by him. Gertrude is hated because she is suspected to of had a hand in the murder of her late husband and Ophelia is shunned by Hamlet and thinks that he is upset with her. The reason why Gertrude would turn upon Ophelia is that she does not want to see her anymore since Ophelia has gone mad and Gertrude just does not want to have anything to do with her. As the Queen and possible role model for Ophelia, Gertrude thought that it would be in her best interest to try and not see Ophelia. 5. Arguing that the prince’s inability to act and tendency toward melancholy reflection is a “tragic flaw” that leads inevitably to his demise. Is this an accurate way of understanding the play? Why or why not? The idea of the “tragic flaw” is a problematic one in Hamlet. It is true that Hamlet possesses definable characteristics that, by shaping his behavior, contribute to his tragic fate. But to argue that his tragedy is inevitable because he possesses these characteristics is difficult to prove. Given a scenario and a description of the characters involved, it is highly unlikely that anyone who had not read or seen Hamlet would be able to predict its ending based solely on the character of its hero.

Throughout the play, Hamlet claims to be feigning madness, but his portrayal of a madman is so intense and so convincing that many readers believes that Hamlet actually slips into insanity at certain moments in the play. Do you think this is true, or is Hamlet merely play-acting insanity? What evidence can you cite for either claim? At any given moment during the play, the most accurate assessment of Hamlet’s state of mind probably lies somewhere between sanity and insanity. Hamlet certainly displays a high degree of mania and instability throughout much of the play, but his “madness” is perhaps too purposeful and pointed for us to conclude that he actually loses his mind. His language is erratic and wild, but beneath his mad-sounding words often lie acute observations that show the sane mind working bitterly beneath the surface. Most likely, Hamlet’s decision to feign madness is a sane one, taken to confuse his enemies and hide his intentions. On the other hand, Hamlet finds himself in a unique and traumatic situation, one which calls into question the basic truths and ideals of his life. He can no longer believe in religion, which has failed his father and doomed him to life amid miserable experience. He can no longer trust society, which is full of hypocrisy and violence, nor love, which has been poisoned by his mother’s betrayal of his father’s memory. And, finally, he cannot turn to philosophy, which cannot explain ghosts or answer his moral questions and lead him to action.

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