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

    being Gertrude's (Eileen Herilee) senior by thirteen years, regardless of the fact that she is cast as his mother. It is quite obvious to the viewer in fact that the age relationship between mother and son is backward, indicative of the message Olivier wished to dramatically portray and establish as

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

    get killed, and in the context of the play, Shakespeare uses Horatio as a dramatic device to the same effect - to create tension between characters and provoke audience reaction/participation. This technique is considered to be a clich�, something that everyone is familiar with, and Shakespeare used it hundreds of years earlier to the same end.

  2. Ophelia in William Shakespeare's Hamlet

    He speaks in a cold way to Ophelia about this. Laertes obviously cares a lot for his sister and wants to protect her. He shows this in this scene. This scene is just one of many in Hamlet where men have more authority and knowledge than women.

  1. Hamlet & Madness

    To die, to sleep; To sleep, perchance to dream-ay, there's the rub: For in that sleep of death what dreams may come. (3.1.56-66) In other soliloquies Hamlet explores the faults of passion and how emotions can be faked as well as his own character flaws such as his inability to take action.

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

    "A little more than kin, and less than kind" is his opening line in the play, in reply to Claudius. The pun suggests that Hamlet considers himself and Claudius very little alike in character. This is certainly true. Unlike Claudius, Hamlet cannot carry out his actions simply.

  1. How does Hamlet present its female characters

    mainly to his suspected Oedipus complex as thought by critic Ernest Jones, when Hamlet and his mother are talking alone he says "O, throw away the worser part of it, and live the purer with the other half. Good night - but go not to my uncle's bed."

  2. Comment on the dramatic significance of any 3 scenes in Hamlet.

    The ghost's silence arouses excitement in the audience , and the bewildered characters make the scene look very natural. The ghostly night , has been associated with the preparation of War with Norway. It emphasizes on the awaiting tragedy , and strengthens the confusion in the reader.

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