Hamlet’s Love for Ophelia
Intro to Literature Drama Paper Hamlet’s Love In the tragic play Hamlet, written by William Shakespeare, one of the most common themes found throughout the story’s plot is the theme of love. Shakespeare interlaces many layers of thematic love through the complex relationships of Hamlet; primarily between Hamlet and Ophelia. From Act one until the final scene of the play, Hamlet struggles with the decision to kill Claudius while he concurrently tries to comprehend the chaos surrounding him.
As the story unfolds and the tensions build between Hamlet and his loved ones, Hamlet’s relationship to Ophelia is profoundly impacted. One common argument that rises from studying the tragic story of Hamlet is the questioning of Hamlet’s love; specifically for Ophelia. Many often conclude that Hamlet never truly loves Ophelia. However, deep underneath Hamlet and Ophelia’s crumbling relationship is a man who must make a grim decision. Hamlet chooses to sacrifice his relationship to Ophelia in order to avenge his father’s death.
The progression of Hamlet’s relationship to Ophelia is deeply complex in nature. Throughout the story’s plot, the validity of Hamlet’s love for Ophelia often comes into question. A scene that many often use to define Hamlet and Ophelia’s relationship is in Act 3, scene 1, when Hamlet denies his love for Ophelia. However, it is difficult to conclude in this scene if Hamlet is revealing his true feelings for Ophelia or not. As Hamlet realizes that Claudius and Polonius have set up a plot to spy on him through Ophelia, one could assume that Hamlet uses antic disposition to hide his love for Ophelia.
While some may conclude that Hamlet’s character was flawed in many regards, his actions of love and sacrifice proved otherwise; behind the flaws stood a good man. What is truly ironic about the story of Hamlet is while Hamlet sacrifices his relationship to Ophelia in the hopes of preventing her demise his actions ultimately drive Ophelia towards madness and suicide. The same love that he had for Ophelia, that avenged his father, was the same love that essentially killed her; a true tragedy.