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Hamlet He Loves Her? He Loves Her Not?

1067 words - 5 pages

The Elizabethan play Hamlet by William Shakespeare is without a doubt one of Shakespeare?s most puzzling plays. Although the play has a concise story, it is filled with many questions pertaining to different topics behind the story line. One question in particular is did Hamlet really love Ophelia? This argument can be supported in both directions, however I feel that Hamlet did love Ophelia. Support for this decision comes from Hamlet?s treatment towards Ophelia in Act 3, Scene 2, and at Ophelia?s grave in Act 5, Scene 1.The play Hamlet is about the trials, and tribulations met by Prince Hamlet, as he tries to seek revenge for his father?s murder. Since, Hamlet discovers the murder of his ...view middle of the document...

" (39 Act 2 Scene 1 Line 84). This scene comes soon after Hamlet learns of his father?s murder. To the reader it may seem that Hamlet is looking to Ophelia for help. The reader can draw the conclusion that he loves her, and that she is one the few loved ones he has left to turn to. The reader can also come to this same conclusion later in Act 2 when Polonius reads from one of Hamlet?s love letter?s to Ophelia, in which he says to her "But that I love thee best, O most best, believe it." (45 Act 2 Scene 2 Line 121).It is Act 3 Scene 1 where the reader might reconsider their opinion of Hamlet?s love for Ophelia. Before seeing her, Hamlet states the soliloquy in which he contemplates suicide. By this point his purpose for revenge has made him all the more miserable, and cynical. As Ophelia enters Hamlet?s spirits seemed to be aroused as he addresses her, "The fair Ophelia. Nymph in thy orisons be all my sins remembered." (65 Act 3 Scene 1 Line 90). However Hamlet?s good mood does not seem to last long. It is when Ophelia returns to him tokens of his affection that his attitude changes toward Ophelia. Hamlet starts to insult Ophelia, and taunt her. He tells her that he had once loved her, but then changes his statement to say that he had never loved her. To any reader who believes Hamlet truly did love Ophelia, these statements seem to be denial of the pain that Ophelia has caused him. However what the reader must remember is that he knows Ophelia does not mean what she says. This is...

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