Books and Movies Reviews

Ophelia’s Love Betrayed

I would have to strongly disagree with Nicole’s interpretation of Hamlet and Ophelia’s relationship. They were most certainly lovers. Halmlet did without question offer Ophelia “tenders” of his affection, and we know this because she must return them to Hamlet. In addition, we also have the letter read from Polonius to Claudius and Gertrude in which Hamnlet writes to Ophelia I did love thee once. So indeed, Hamlet did love Ophelia, and evidence is also in the play that she did love the prince. When Laertes tells Ophelia to beware of Hamlet’s love, she does not deny her love for Hamlet but responds that yes she will be careful. As for the song, no part of any of Shakespeare’s plays is ever thrown in simply because it was popular at the time. When Ophelia sings that sing in her mentally disturbed state she is revealing the nature of her relationship to Hamlet and his promises of love.
The question now becomes, who is to blame for the relationship’s demise. Many blame Hamlet for being too hard on Ophelia, but her treatment and the “Get thee to a nunnery” speech is, in a certain sense, justified. Hamlet’s entire world is collapsing around him. His uncle has killed Hamlet’s father. His mother may have been a co-conspirator in King Hamlet’s death(though there is no definitive proof) and, at the very least, she has married her husband’s murderer. Hamlet has been betrayed by his close friend’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. Everyone special to Hamlet has betrayed him.
Ophelia has broken off their relationship because her father Polonius, forced her to, and we can guess that Hamlet knows that may be the case because shortly before the “get thee to a nunnery speech” he refuses to take his “tenders” back. He still loves her. But when he asks “Where is your father” and Ophelia replies “At home” he knows that now, she too, has betrayed him. We do not feel bad when Hamlet exacts his revenge or chastises the other that be tray him, so why do we b…


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