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Hamlet - Character study of Ophelia.

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Introduction

2nd Draft In the play written by William Shakespeare, "Hamlet", Ophelia is seen to be a very interesting and intriguing character. Shakespeare has written Ophelia in a way that leaves the audience puzzled as to her true character. Many critics have placed Ophelia's character at completely contrasting ends of a continuum some people believe that Ophelia is not the innocent young girl others believe she is. Some people believe Ophelia to be a wanton, sexually knowledgeable young woman, while others believe that she is harmless and pious. This is due to the manner that Shakespeare has written Ophelia's character, it means that Ophelia's language and actions can be interpreted in many different factions. This can be shown by the way in which Ophelia reacts in different circumstances, while some believe that it shows that she is sexually knowledgeable others believe it shows a lack of knowledge and even slight embarrassment. I believe that Ophelia was written by Shakespeare to be an innocent young woman that is corrupted by the events occurring around her. I believe that Hamlet treats Ophelia brutally and that her innocence and shy character during these events lead to her depression and her end. ...read more.

Middle

Ophelia reacts very calmly as though it doesn't affect her, but the audience know that she didn't expect it. Shakespeare uses Ophelia's reaction to display her character to the audience and gain sympathy for her cause. "I was more deceived" Shakespeare uses very calm language to show that Ophelia is very shy and innocent and uses different prose during Hamlets onslaught on Ophelia to help show a change in the mood of the play with the dark atmosphere and the crude dialogue. This shows Ophelia's character to be very passive and certainly not volatile. This proves to the audience that Ophelia is the untainted, drawn-back young woman she is portrayed to be. She even finds the courage to carry on talking to Hamlet in a controlled fashion. This shows that although Ophelia is very shy she is also resilient and has a lot of pride not to show her true feelings. When Hamlet starts to heavily insult Ophelia she finds good in Hamlet, when she says; "I'll give thee this plague for thy dowry" She replies "O heavenly powers, restore him" Ophelia seems to find good in everybody's character, as many would quite rightly blame Hamlet she simply blames an external factor like God or that Hamlet has been taken over by an evil spirit. ...read more.

Conclusion

Also the period of the play meant that Ophelia would have been the honest virginal character Shakespeare portrays to the audience. Women of her social standing and class would have meant that he would have to play the untainted and person created by Hamlet because that is what would have been expected by those around royalty. I believe that Ophelia has an Honest, passive, inert and untainted character who is virginal. Shakespeare uses passive calm and un-abrasive language to show to the audience Ophelia's innocence. This is used to create an un-responsive character to the sexual-innuendo and personal insults directed to her. I can see why some critics have interpreted Ophelia's innocent and na�ve character to be coyness, but I believe this to be untrue. This can be shown by her interaction with those around her. When Hamlet subjects her to sexual-innuendo she replies unknowingly and quite honestly which shows her to be virginal. Shakespeare uses Ophelia as the person who is dramatically effected by the events in the play, she is used as the love interest to Hamlet, daughter of the kings corrupt councillor and an innocent bystander to the volatile environment around her. I believe that Shakespeare uses her to link many of the complex themes surrounding her and to show the effects that such dealings can have on people. ...read more.

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