• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Discuss the central themes and techniques of the dialogue between Hamlet and Ophelia in ACT III scene I

Extracts from this document...


Discuss the central themes and techniques of the dialogue between Hamlet and Ophelia in ACT III scene I Before the conversation, in Hamlets famous soliloquy, Hamlet considers suicide as an option to relieve his problems, but he worries about what would happen after death so is too cowardly to kill himself: "But that the dread of something after death....puzzles the will" This also reflects the fear of death generally in everyone as well as Hamlet. Hamlet shows possible cowardice in many of his actions in the play; later in the closet scene, he attempted to kill the king behind the arras and not perform it directly, when he had a chance. However this is probably due to the reason that he wanted Claudius to die while committing a sin so that he goes to hell, so some could say that he is an intelligent revenger. Others could say that is just Hamlet's excuse for not killing Claudius honestly. In doing such a rash deed he killed the wrong person so Hamlet was wrong. The main theme in this scene is the love between Hamlet and Ophelia. Ophelia still loves Hamlet; it is shown in her soliloquy after their discussion: "O, what a noble mind is here o'erthrown! ...read more.


The meaning of the word Nunnery is ambiguous, in the time of Shakespeare it is slang for brothel as well as meaning a convent. Hamlet means that if Ophelia Is good then she should go to a nunnery to protect herself from evil men: "We are arrant knaves all; believe none of us. Go thy ways to a nunnery" The other less evident reason is that if Ophelia is evil, she should go to a brothel: "Or, if thou wilt needs marry, marry a fool; for wise men know well enough what monsters you make out of them. To a nun- nery, go" After the marriage of Claudius and his mother, Hamlet is a misogynist, and he often generalises. Just because her mother is weak and evil for marrying his uncle, he believes that all women are similar. This is shown during the play within a play: "OPHELIA 'Tis brief, my lord. HAMLET As woman's love." He generalises that all women's love is short just because his mother re-married so quickly and Ophelia betrayed him. He is also to some extent, a misanthropist: "HAMLET Denmark's a prison. ROSENCRANTZ Then is the world one. ...read more.


There are also other ways of portraying this. In the film production directed by Zefirelli and starring Mel Gibson in 1990, a shadow was shown which led to Hamlet's discovery of the presence of the spies. In the film directed by and starring Laurence Olivier, Hamlet realises straight away that he is being spied on. Hamlet poses a threat to Claudius while talking about marriage: "Those that are married already, all but one, shall live;" In a film production directed by and starring by Kenneth Branagh in 1996, Hamlet creates a direct threat to Claudius by pointing to him through a see-through mirror. Hamlet wanted revenge on Claudius for the murder of his father, revenge is another matter in this play, there are some attempted revengers in this play but only one who is ultimately successful. There is Laertes who wants revenge on Hamlet for the killing of his father, Hamlet does die at the end but at the cost of Laertes' own life life, he realises at the end he is sorry for what he had done: "Exchange forgiveness with me, noble Hamlet." Hamlet wanting revenge on Claudius ends up losing his life as well. So the only successful surviving revenger is Fortinbras who gains revenge for the death of his father by taking over the kingdom of Denmark. Winston Wong ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Hamlet section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Hamlet essays

  1. The Dramatic Function of Ophelia in Shakespeare's 'Hamlet'.

    As previously discussed, Ophelia may only appear to be a na�ve, innocent maid and be, in reality, the very opposite. In addition, her true madness contrasts with and therefore highlights the false nature of Hamlet's. Hamlet comments upon how "God hath given you /one face, and you make yourselves another"

  2. Scene by Scene - Hamlet.

    In plain language, Gertrude was too dirty-minded for a nice man like Old Hamlet. She jumped into bed with a dirtball. Old Hamlet tells the grisly effects of the poison, which coagulated his blood and caused his skin to crust, killing him rapidly.

  1. Comparing the revengers Fortinbras, Laertes and Hamlet.

    Hamlet finds the King kneeling-praying, and so has him at his mercy; but he does not kill him. Now might I do it pat, now he is praying; And now I'll do't - and so he goes to heaven; And so am I revenged - that would be scanned.

  2. 'Hamlet has been read by critics as dramatically presenting a misfit in a politically ...

    rest here in our court some little time, so by your companies to draw him onto pleasures and to gather so much as from occasion you may glean'9. Hamlet is initially shown as the victim of a politically treacherous court, deprived of his privacy and betrayed by his friends.

  1. In the play Hamlet by Shakespeare, what is the dramatic significance of act III ...

    The audience can identify with Hamlet as a kind of spokesman for their own experience of the bewildering human conditions. Hamlet frustrates any attempt to reduce him to a tidy analysis. He demands that we sit through and share his trials again and again.

  2. Criticism on Hamlet

    This scene must be regarded as one of Shakspere's lyric movements in the play, and the skill with which it is interwoven with the dramatic parts is peculiarly an excellence of our poet. You experience the sensation of a pause without the sense of a stop.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work