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Hamlet Loves Ophelia
The Shakespeare’s play Hamlet is replete with fascinating themes, styles, humour and tragedy. The play is performed at a time when Hamlet the prince of Denmark was dramatizing and contemplating on a revenge mission against his uncle Claudius. It is believed that Claudius murdered king Hamlet who was his brother and father to prince Hamlet. The king then succeeded to the throne and took Gertrude, the wife to the late king Hamlet as his wife. The action of his mother being married by King Claudius is a painful experience to prince Hamlet who learns later from a ghost that Claudius killed his father. The aspect of love in the tragedy is developed by Polonius daughter Ophelia who is courting prince Hamlet. The love turns sour when Ophelia’s brother and father do not approve this relationship. The paper will focus on the expression of prince Hamlet’s love towards Ophelia as brought out from major scenes in the play. The paper will include quotes that will depict how Hamlet loved Ophelia via the actions and statements he is seen to make in the play.
Hamlet loves Ophelia
Love is the main theme stipulated in Shakespeare’s tragedy play. The play depicts various instances where love between characters is demonstrated. Ophelia commits suicide on realizing that her beloved father, Polonius, has been killed. This essay paper will focus on the expression of Prince Hamlet’s love towards Ophelia. Hamlet is seeking revenge for his father’s death and hence he is secretive of his love for Ophelia (Act 3, scene 4). He is shielding Ophelia from Claudius; Hamlet fears that if the king knows about their relationship he might harm his lover. Hamlet declares his love for Ophelia during her funeral; he quips that the love of Laertes and other blood brothers, could not match the quantity of love he has for Ophelia (Act 5, scene 1, 270). The love is enormous considering that Laertes is Ophelia brother whom they grew up together. Ophelia is mesmerized by Hamlet’s love; she provides statements that prove his love for her. She demonstrates his desire through the romantic actions he had during their meetings. She quips memorable moments when Hamlet caught her by the wrist, tender showered her with affection and held her (Act 1, scene 3, 85). The confession reveals a reciprocation of Hamlet’s love towards Ophelia. Therefore, it is evident that Hamlet loves Ophelia through the actions and expressions in various scenes of the play.
The Hamlet love for Ophelia in the play is one filled with many disappointments and opposition. Hamlet tries to maintain a relationship amid strong disapproval from Ophelia’s father and brother. At one point, Hamlet admits openly that he is in love with Ophelia. Ophelia says that Hamlet had importuned her with much love in an honourable fashion and that Hamlet had uttered a speech of love with the holiest words from heaven. (1:3, 11). The instance depicts the strong love that existed between them. Hamlets love for Ophelia is also portrayed in the dream when ghosts appeared to him disclosing to him about Claudius murdering his father. The scene makes the reader insinuate that hamlets love for Ophelia never quavered. On that part of the ghost revelation, he was in deep thoughts of his father’s betrayal by his mother and Claudius. To evade this, he pretends to be insane and because of his deep love for Ophelia he wants to destroy the hope she held about the future of their love. Hamlets go along and pretend to reject insults hauls to him by Ophelia (Act 3, scene 1). In this nunnery scene it is evident that Hamlet loved Ophelia, this is seen when he feigns insanity by repeating that he did not love her and telling her to go to a nunnery. From this scene, it is evident that there exists a deep love between them because if surely he was mad, what was the reason of repeating these words to Ophelia? Hamlet love for Ophelia is brought out in the play when he realises that he has two women he loves, one is his mother and the next is Ophelia. However, he takes the painful step of rejecting Ophelia because he had lost faith in his mother after she married King Claudius, a love that was sacrificed from his father. Thus, he fears to marry Ophelia because he fears her to be dishonest. The scene clearly shows that Hamlet loved Ophelia that is why he feared to marry her comparing her with his mother.
The Shakespeare’s tragedy reflects Hamlets plan to revenge his father’s death against king Claudius. The revenge does not come readily because of the love triangle that exists between Hamlet and Ophelia. The play is seen to be prolonged by their love because the ghosts that revealed about King Claudia murdering Hamlet’s father came in the earlier scenes. However, due to a strong love that existed between Hamlet and Ophelia, he is seen to deny the truth and not until the last scene when the Hamlet decides to revenge. Hamlet love for Ophelia is seen in the grave when he confronts Laertes at the graveside of Ophelia. He pretends to be insane in a plan to depict his love with Ophelia. From these instances, it is clear that Hamlet loved Ophelia.
Mowat A. Barbara, Werstine Paul. Hamlet, Perfection Learning, New Folger Library Shakespeare, 2003
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Below you will find five outstanding thesis statements for Hamlet by William Shakespeare that can be used as essay starters or paper topics. All five incorporate at least one of the themes found in Shakespeare’s Hamlet and are broad enough so that it will be easy to find textual support, yet narrow enough to provide a focused clear thesis statement. These thesis statements offer a short summary of Hamlet in terms of different elements that could be important in an essay. You are, of course, free to add your own analysis and understanding of the plot or themes to them for your essay. Using the essay topics below in conjunction with the list of important quotes from Hamlet by William Shakespeare at the bottom of the page, you should have no trouble connecting with the text and writing an excellent essay.Thesis Statement / Essay Topic #1: Hamlet’s Preoccupation with Philosophy
One of the most famous Shakepearean lines—“To be or not to be, that is the question" is found in Hamlet, spoken by the title character himself. While this is the most obvious reference that Hamlet makes to his own philosophy, Hamlet makes frequent proclamations about his philosophy of life. Hamlet’s philosophy touches not only on the subject of love, but also about loyalty, family, and the virtue of suffering, among other themes. His philosophy, summed up in the “To be or not to be" (click here for a full analysis of the “to be or not to be” speech) soliloquy and reflected in his actions, might not be comfortable for all characters or all readers. Hamlet’s philosophy is particular to his own strange obsessions, and help explain the fates of the characters in the play.Thesis Statement / Essay Topic #2: Hamlet’s View of Love
Because Hamlet has been disillusioned about love by his mother’s actions, he rejects the possibility that romantic love is an important part of human relationships. He is consumed by the outrageousness of his mother’s love for his uncle, and he rejects Ophelia’s love for him, though he admitted once to loving her. Although Hamlet is justified to feel disgust towards his mother and her actions, his pessimistic view of love has dreadful implications, not just for him, but for other characters as well. For this essay on Hamlet, you might want to take a character analysis approach to Hamlet with this theme as your guide or thesis statement.
Thesis Statement / Essay Topic #3: Taboos in Hamlet by William Shakespeare
Many of Shakespeare’s plays involve transgressions that violate social taboos. Hamlet is no exception. In this play, numerous social norms are violated; however, the most powerful taboo is that of incest. Hamlet is outraged when his mother marries his uncle shortly after the death of his father, and his mother’s action causes him to lose faith in love. Although the incest taboo may seem grotesque, Shakespeare puts his characters in such dynamic tension and outrageous situations in order to make profound observations about the nature of both familial and romantic love.
Thesis Statement / Essay Topic #4: Unmanly Grief in Hamlet
Claudius could hardly be considered to be a model of upright behavior and insight, given that he seduces Gertrude while the grief over her husband’s death is still fresh. While he is obviously advancing his own motives, his speech to Hamlet about “unmanly grief" is oddly compelling. Claudius takes the view that all men die, all men lose their fathers. They enter a period of appropriate grief and then move on. Because Hamlet is not conforming to this norm, Claudius suggests that Hamlet’s grief is not only unhealthy, but unmanly. A close reading of the play supports Claudius’s observation. Although Claudius is certainly not free from reproach, Hamlet’s obsessional grief is not praiseworthy either.
Thesis Statement/Essay Topic #5: The Role of Women in Hamlet
The female characters in Shakespeare’s Hamlet are a complicated lot. Gertrude, Hamlet’s mother, is much maligned for her sexual and romantic alliance with Hamlet’s own uncle. Ophelia is portrayed as a woman who is so consumed with love for Hamlet that she is willing to sacrifice her life for him. Through these two very different characters, Shakespeare portrays women negatively in limited roles. Women have no chance for redemption, and are subject to the decisions that men make for them.
A few articles that might offer some guidance with these thesis statements for Hamlet include :
This list of important quotations from Hamlet by William Shakespeare will help you work with the essay topics and thesis statements above by allowing you to support your claims. All of the important quotes from Hamlet listed here correspond, at least in some way, to the paper topics above and by themselves can give you great ideas for an essay by offering quotes and explanations about other themes, symbols, imagery, and motifs than those already mentioned and explained. Aside from the thesis statements above, these quotes alone can act as essay questions or study questions as they are all relevant to the text in an important way. All quotes contain page numbers as well. Look at the bottom of the page to identify which edition of Shakespeare’s Hamlet they are referring to.
“Tis sweet and commendable in your nature, Hamlet, To give these mourning duties to your father. But you must know your father lost a father, that father lost, lost his, and the survivor bound in filial obligation for some term to do obsequious sorrow. But to persevere in obstinate condolement is a course of impious stubborness, tis unmanly grief…." (I.ii. ll. 87-94).
“O God, God, How stale, flat, and unprofitable seem to me all the uses of this world!." (I.ii.132-134).
“Within a month, Ere, yet the salt of most unrighteous tears had left the flushing in her galled eyes, Shemarried–O most wicked speed, to post with such dexterity to incestuous sheets, It is not, nor it cannot come to good…” (I.ii.153-57).
“Be wary then, best safety lies in fear…." (I.ii.43)
“Ay, that incestuous, that adulterate beast… who won to his shameful lust The will of my most seeming virtuous queen." (I.v.42-46)
“There are more things in heaven and earth,…Than are dreamt of in your philosophy…." (II.i.166-167)
“This must be known, which, being kept close, might move More grief to hid, than hate to utter love." (II.i.113-115)
“To be or not to be, that is the question: Whether tis nobler in the mind to suffer The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, Or to take arms against a sea of troubles, and by opposing, end them." (III.i.55-59)
“Be not too tame neither, but your own discretion be your tutor." (III.ii.16)
Reference: Shakespeare, William. The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark. In The Riverside Shakespeare. Eds. G. Blakemore Evans and J.J.M. Tobin. New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1997. 1189-1234.