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Essay: Hamlet’s staunch love for Ophelia was highly dedicated in disguise for her protection

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  • Subject area(s): Literature essays
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  • Published: June 16, 2021*
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  • Hamlet's staunch love for Ophelia was highly dedicated in disguise for her protection
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In Hamlet by William Shakespeare, although it was expressed that Hamlet drove her to her death, his staunch love for Ophelia was highly dedicated in disguise for her protection. The realism of pragmatism within Hamlet actions towards Ophelia goes undoubtedly recognized. Whether his gestures of Professing Ophelia to go to the nunnery was an act of protection or misleading selfishness. Even though Hamlet insulting Ophelia at this moment was to create distance; for her safety from the king. Henceforth brought him to giving confusing ideas of true love or true hatred towards Ophelia. Indeed, this brings every conclusion to believe Hamlet never loved Ophelia nor cared for her safety. Until he has confessed in vain his love for Ophelia while lying on her grave with no remorse; in act 5, scene 1 he compares their love to “forty thousand brothers / could not, with all their quantity of love, / Make up [his] sum.” Which brings back interpretation of each gesture as an act of love & protection.

To enumerate that Hamlet gives broad reasons to make his love for Ophelia shun for her safety. When Hamlet professes Ophelia to go to the nunnery shows great apprehension that he was afraid the king would use her as allurement for Hamlet obedience. Even though this was used as a safety tool it as well was for self-comfort. A nunnery is a place of purity, which corresponds with Hamlet anger towards his mother. The nunnery scene is an example of him expressing how his mother was not pure. As well as how she partaken in incestuous actions. As he speaks of his mother disgraceful actions he sets a curse upon all women “She married, O, most wicked speed, to post with such dexterity to incestuous sheets!” (I.ii156-7) then he states “Frailty, thy name is woman!” (I.ii.147). Indeed this shows his inclusion of Ophelia, even though this curse shows he his disgusted with women; he still professes her to go to the nunnery. Hamlet sends her there because he loves Ophelia and does not want her to commit sin. A nunnery is a place where a woman cannot marry nor interact with any men of any rationale. Therefore he uses this as a cushion to keep her safe but to keep her from near him. Even though this was supposed to be expressed as a good action Ophelia is oblivious to this as he states “why wouldst thou be a breeder of sinners?” referring to why should she leave the nunnery if she will go and reproduce with sinners of Denmark. Then, he states “be thou as chaste as ice, as pure as snow…[or] marry a fool. For wise men know well enough what monsters you make of them.” (III.i.122-146). as an example of his love for Ophelia to be pure, she shall not wed nor birth with anyone else and he shall someday marry her. Hamlet rejects Ophelia seeking relations with him because he has bigger problems to face. Therefore his accusing Ophelia of being a whore, forcing her to loathe him. Due to satisfaction of her being unable to get physically hurt by others. Even though he uses his rejection as an aid for his rejection due to the uncertainty of marriage. Referring back to his mother betrayal caused him to profess an uncertainty of marriage. While Ophelia obedience of her father commands Hamlet, even more, begins to lose faith in Ophelia. Which refers to Hamlet ‘To be or to not be” monologue, whither shall he be alive or dead either way when you live in sin it all corresponds. In which when he does die he merely sleeps forever so why does it matter to take such things into consideration. Therefore he loves Ophelia but is it worth the hassle as well as confusion.

In regards to Hamlet admitting to loving her yet denying her afterward for protection, he used this as a stimulation of ignorance as a fulfillment mind game. The ignorant slurs Hamlet used to offend Ophelia were aroused for her to believe he has a true hatred for her. Hamlet telling Ophelia “Sure, since beauty’s power can more easily change a good girl into a whore than the power of goodness can change a beautiful girl into a virgin. This used to be a great puzzle, but now I’ve solved it. I used to love you.”(III.i.125) then states “You shouldn’t have believed me, since we’re all rotten at the core, no matter how hard we try to be virtuous. I didn’t love you.”(III.i.—). Once he has realized that Ophelia is doing whatever in her power to be with him; he then does everything in his power for her to no longer pursue him. Being that this scene shows every measure that his love for Ophelia shall be doubted. Though the reason he is doing so is that he knew that if King Claudius knew he still had a feeling for Ophelia he would use her maliciously. Knowing that the king is having Polonius watch their conversations Hamlet uses this conversation only as an act of showing unstableness. This evidence is shown as then after the conversation Hamlet states “Where’s your father?”. When Ophelia tells him that Polonius is at home, Hamlet replies: “Let the doors be shut upon him that he may play the fool nowhere but in ‘s own house” (III.i.143-44). This implies that Hamlet knows Polonius is watching him and is planning something(Braintree). Which indeed shows Claudius is willing to make anything accustom to stopping Hamlet from revealing his secret. Hamlet doesn’t deny Ophelia for self-fulfillment but for selflessness. It was somewhat of a dramatic irony between Claudius, Hamlet & Ophelia. As being that Hamlet knew what outcomes were possible in these situations. Therefore as an act of love, he protected Ophelia in the most convenient was as possible. Assaying if losing her meant that she shall be safe forever then that was the love Hamlet was willing to give up. Another example of Hamlet’s love for Ophelia is the letter he sends her. One line Hamlet writes her is “never doubt I love” (II.ii.127). He tells her that among everything else around her that may not be true, his love for her is real. This is the one time before Ophelia’s death that Hamlet reveals his true feelings. This could be due to the fact that, once Ophelia received the letter, she gave it to her father. Hamlet did not trust Polonius, and from that moment on, Hamlet knew he had to hide his love for Ophelia and act mad to protect her (Braintree).
Furthermore, as Hamlet is having a debate with his mother and suspects someone is watching which he believes is the king. Straightaway

Hamlet stabs this unknown silhouette, when grasping the curtain he then reveals it to be Polonius. Polonius is Hamlets worse enemy but his lover father. Once he realized what he has done he shows no remorse. Not even due to the fact that Polonius is Ophelia’s father. Which brings questioning to how could he ever love Ophelia by putting her through this grief. Yet, on the contrary, Hamlet confessed in vain his love for Ophelia while lying on her grave. A dispute between Laertes [Ophelia’s brother] & Hamlet sparked which cause him to finally confess his love for Ophelia. Which proves that Hamlet’s love for Ophelia is true is when he finds out that she is dead. In the graveyard, Hamlet confronts Laertes about his accusations that he never loved Ophelia. Hamlet responds by saying: “I loved Ophelia. Forty thousand brothers could not with all their quantity of love make up my sum” (V.i.285-87). Hamlet has no reason to defend his love for Ophelia now that she is dead, but he still does. Hamlet really did love Ophelia, and tells Laertes, “Be buried quick with her, and so will I” (V.i.296). Hamlet expresses how sad he is about losing her, and that he is just as sad as Laertes. Hamlet feels that he has nothing to live for no that Ophelia is gone (Braintree).
In essence, you can consider that Hamlet did generally love Ophelia not only because of his selfless gestures but because when Ophelia committed suicide & he sat at her grave and grieved. The amount of sympathy at this moment was so extensive in which it created a sense of empathy with the audience and the character. Hamlet comparison of his & Ophelia love expressed their love in 1,000 ways with such little words. Where when he made the statement you could relate to the grief of his true love mentally & physically.

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