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

How does Hamlet and Ophelia's relationship evolves throughout the play of 'Hamlet'?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

In this essay I will consider how Hamlet and Ophelia's relationship evolves throughout the play of "Hamlet" and whether their love was real and true. I will be looking at Act 2 Scene 1, Act 3 Scene 1, Act 3 Scene 2 and Act 5 Scene 1. I have chosen these scenes because in these four scenes, Hamlet and Ophelia are either talking to each other, or they are talking about the other. I think Hamlet and Ophelia's relationship is essential to the plot because if Ophelia hadn't gone mad and died, along with Polonius being murdered by Hamlet, then Laertes wouldn't have poisoned Hamlet. The poisoning of Hamlet also leads to Claudius, Gertrude, and Laertes dying. In Act 2 Scene 1, Ophelia goes to find her father. She has been frightened by Hamlet, she describes how he came into her room. He didn't say anything, but he was obviously upset. In the lines, "Pale as his shirt, his knees knocking each other, and with a look so piteous in purport" Ophelia seems worried for him, like she pities him. The way Ophelia describes Hamlet's clothing, "Lord Hamlet with his doublet unbraced, No hat upon his head, his stockings fouled, Ungartered, and down-gyved to his ankle" is the stereotype of the lover that has been cast aside. ...read more.

Middle

he was the only one in their relationship with love for the other. By changing his mood constantly I think Hamlet is trying to reinforce his act of being mad. By changing the subject and contradicting himself he doesn't make any sense which is one of the characteristics of a stereotypical mad person. In Act 3 Scene 2 Hamlet sits by Ophelia and asks to put his head in her lap, a question that is demeaning in public while at the same time showing that the two have a far more intimate relationship than has been shown so far. She seems insulted as she says "No, my lord" yet Ophelia seemed pleased is with his attention and says, "You are merry, my lord." Hamlet says, "That's a fair thought to lie between maids' legs" a very vulgar remark, imagery shows Hamlet has no respect for Ophelia who he sees as a prostitute for selling her soul to Claudius and using his affection for her for profit in spying on him. Hamlet lost respect for Ophelia when she turned her back on him at her father's will. When Ophelia says "I think nothing, my lord" a modern female audience would show a lack of respect for Ophelia because she displays an act of low intelligence by stated she does not think. ...read more.

Conclusion

Yet I feel this way because as part of a modern audience it is now acceptable for women to show their love and feelings, but in Shakespeare's day an audience would be shocked to see Ophelia showing any affection as it was unseemly to do so. Throughout the play Hamlet and Ophelia's relationship evolves throughout the play. After Polonius and Laertes have warned Ophelia, Hamlet seems too caught up and involved in the murder of his father to dwell on his and Ophelia's relationship. But, after a while, when he is stalling the revenge, Hamlet seems then to acting up around Ophelia to offend and embarrass her. I think this is because he is hurt but also because I think he would Ophelia to know what it feels like to be hurt. I feel Hamlet doubt whether Ophelia ever loved him so he tries to test her, by telling her he used to love her and asking to "lie in her lap." As Ophelia does not respond in the manner Hamlet wished for, Hamlet returns to thoughts of his revenge. It is only when he returns from England shocked to find Ophelia dead that he realises and remembers how much he loved her. So Hamlet and Ophelia's relationship goes through hurt, offence, lack of respect and it's only when one of the couple dies that their love finally becomes true. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE 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 GCSE Hamlet essays

  1. Ophelia Essay

    The language used in this scene is violent and disgusting. "In the rank sweat of an enseamed bed" "Oh, shame, where is thy blush?" "Rebellious Hell" Hamlet is showing his anger for his Mothers actions. Shakespeare will have used this language to shock his audience into the horror that Hamlet is feeling.

  2. Mighty opposites; Hamlet and Claudius.

    The broken rhythm of soliloquies generates an atmosphere of unease and also emphasises Hamlets state of mind in his soliloquy. There are images of corruption and rankness in both Hamlet's and Claudius's soliloquies. The imagery of corruption is shown through Hamlet's disgust and anger for his mother.

  1. Sigmund Freud, father of psychoanalysis, used Shakespeare's character, Hamlet, in a letter written to ...

    message of sexuality, or the insinuation that sexually related scenes are yet to come, in Olivier's context, this image would have caused controversy and a deeper investigation into the need for such an image, by the viewer. The bed is thus clearly a visual symbol of Hamlet's repressed sexually orientated

  2. Ophelia in William Shakespeare's Hamlet

    As Hamlet is royalty he is expected to marry Royalty, if Ophelia and Hamlet were to get married their marriage would not be accepted by others. Can Polonious see this happening and is he trying to protect Ophelia? In act Two, scene One, Ophelia informs Polonious of Hamlets madness.

  1. How Does Shakespeare Convey a Sense of Anomie in Hamlet Act 1, and to ...

    This gave me the impression something was up. Horatio plays the role of the sceptic, telling the others "Tush, tush, 'twill not appear". This technique is often used in Hollywood horror movies, where one character refuses to believe that anything is happening right up until the point where they inevitably

  2. Hamlet & Madness

    Bring me to the test, / And I the matter will re-word, which madness / would gambol from..." (3:4:143-46). In conclusion, if Hamlet was an individual Williams 4 consumed by madness, he would have entertained only irrational thoughts and would not have had the power to choose certain individuals to speak rationally with.

  1. Hamlet - In what way is Act 5 Scene 2 a fitting climax to ...

    In contrast Hamlets innocence and goodness is brought out when Hamlet shows humility by asking pardon of Laertes. Throughout the final scene Claudius is isolated as the only villain of the piece where Hamlet and Laertes who both suffered fatherly casualties due to Claudius' ruthlessness and therefore both want to

  2. How successful is Hamlet as a play about revenge? Consider both the modern and ...

    Unlike Claudius, Hamlet cannot carry out his actions simply. He spends a great deal of time philosophising over his revenge, rather than carrying it out. After hearing the Ghost, Hamlet promises, "I with wings as swift/ As meditation or the thoughts of love/ may sweep to my revenge." He does not actually fulfil what he says here, but spends

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