Poor Pathetic Ophelia

Throughout this play Ophelia has constantly struck my interest. I feel bad for her. She is constantly being told what to do and what she is by everyone around her and we never really hear from her. In the very beginning of the play her father instructs her not to see Hamlet because he would never marry her, Ophelia without much hesitation agrees to no longer be with the man she loves. Then Polonius uses her to spy on Hamlet. The poor girl isn’t allowed to be with the man she loves but is asked by her father to spy on him, and she has absolutely no control of her own life.

Next, when we look at her relationship with Hamlet ( when it was actually allowed to occur), we feel even worse for her. She is spying on Hamlet, and she doesn’t know that he knows, she is a spy. So as he sits there and confesses his love to her to fool the ones spying on him, she has to say she doesn’t love him to respect her father. It is so sad that she is hearing Hamlet’s love, thinks it is for real, and has to deny it to listen to her father. It’s no wonder she snaps.

Finally, we look at perhaps the most pathetic scene in the play, hearing about Ophelia’s death. She sings a song about a girl losing her virginity that is wrongly promised marriage and never gets it. In this scene it is clear that Ophelia has gone completely mad and lost her mind. But really, who can blame her at this point. She creates flower crowns, which to me just shows her delicate easily breakable personality even further. Then, the girl falls into the water and lets herself drown. It is interesting that she does not try to fight for her life and try to swim. It seems that she has never had control of her life, so she doesn’t know how to fight to save her own life. It’s pathetic that she drowns because her clothes have weighed her down.

The last place of interest I have for Ophelia is that after her death, Hamlet finally admits that he did love her. How sad and pathetic that the man she longed to love her only did honestly admit it after her death. It is interesting to think that maybe if he would have fought for her more she would have fought for her life. In this play I really would have liked to have seen a developed relationship between these two characters. It is interesting that the two the loved each other ended up being mad and dying. They certainly could have made an interesting couple. However, unfortunate for poor Ophelia, she was already dead once her man proclaimed his love for her. Par for the course in her life I suppose.

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