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“The relationship between Hamlet and Ophelia is doomed to failure because they are too similar.” Discuss.

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Introduction

"The relationship between Hamlet and Ophelia is doomed to failure because they are too similar." Discuss. There are lots of reasons for the failure of any relationship - poor communication, personality clashes, personal crisis and the so on. Couples often have the problem of 'being too alike' and find that they simply cannot get on. Although Hamlet and Ophelia share many similarities, they also have differences and there are a number of other factors that should be taken into account when one is looking at the failure of their relationship. Ophelia's brother, Laertes and her father, Polonuis, warn Ophelia of Hamlet. They try to tell her that Hamlets intentions are not good and Polonuis likens Hamlet to someone who is merely trying to snare a stupid animal: "springes to catch woodcocks" (1.4.115). Laertes tries to persuade his sister that Hamlets love is short lived and will not last: "The perfume and suppliance of a minute, No more" (1.3.9-10). In doing this, and also asking Ophelia not to speak to Hamlet, it would seem that Ophelia may be swayed into believing that Hamlets love is not true. But it is here that we see that she believes in his love, and that she must have some faith in him: " he hath importuned me with love in honourable fashion" (1.3.110-111). ...read more.

Middle

These extremes of character; sometimes so honest it becomes brutal and at other times extremely deceitful, are sure to shape a relationship, as although they are honest of their feelings, there is doubt as to whether a deeper motive is behind the words, such as to appear mad, or attempt to please your family. With any clash of personality there are bound to be times when these similarities become too much of a strain. The indulgence into grief that Hamlet is seen to succumb to and perhaps a madness caused by this, may also have been something that affected Ophelia, as it is suggests that the grief over her father's death may have caused her own madness. Bearing these traits of character in mind, we can also see many vast differences between Hamlet and Ophelia. Ophelia's sometimes na�ve appearance, such as when she is listening to Hamlets sexual banter, is an obvious contrast to his intelligent and quick witted innuendoes: "That's a fair thought to lie between maid's legs"(3.2.119) , "What is, my lord?(3.2.120)" . This raises the question of whether or not she is being deliberately coy, in a way she would like to see as flirtatious. ...read more.

Conclusion

To say the relationship between Hamlet and Ophelia is doomed to failure because they are too similar can be true, because both are honest at times and attempt to say what they think but will then turn and share a deceitful nature. I think another way of looking at it is to say that it is the extremities in the personalities of the characters that makes them have a weak relationship, because although they do have some similar traits which obviously clash, it is also the differences which cause friction between them. Ophelia's naivety and lack of intelligence, contrast with Hamlets wit and powerful mind. The factors that do not come from the characters themselves also shaped the course of their relationship because it tested their ability to cope when the odds were against them. If the deliberate attempts to make Hamlet and Ophelia's relationship fail had not happened then perhaps things would have been different between them. But even if you take these factors away you are left with two very extreme characters who seem to go from sanity to insanity and security to insecurity. Although they may have a different way of showing it, each has secret motives and irrational behavior at times, and I think the unstable atmosphere this creates can only push the characters further towards their doom. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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