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The Dramatic Function of Ophelia in Shakespeare's 'Hamlet'.
The first 200 words of this essay...
The Dramatic Function of Ophelia in Shakespeare's 'Hamlet'
In William Shakespeare's 'Hamlet' the character Ophelia performs a very interesting and important role in the elaboration of the plot. Ophelia is a tragic victim, a common component of Shakespeare's revenge tragedies and something that the audience would have come to expect. It is perhaps surprising that a vulnerable and frail character such as Ophelia could have the great impact on the play that she does. Understanding her reactions to the patriarchal society in which she lives through her relationships with the men in her life adds greater depth to the play. Her character is revealed through her interactions with Polonius, Laertes and Hamlet, and their characters in turn revealed through their relationships with her. Ophelia allows better understanding of Hamlet's complex personality. Ophelia also highlights key themes of the play, including corruption, patriarchy and deception.
Before her function can be analysed, Ophelia's character must be understood.
Shakespeare presents her as a character of weakness, one to respond to with pity and sympathy. She has been read in very different ways- as shown in the greatly varied portrayals of her in different films. The conventional view
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