Introduction to Ophelia in Hamlet Of all the pivotal characters in Hamlet, Ophelia is the most static and one-dimensional. She has the potential to become a tragic heroine -- to overcome the adversities inflicted upon her -- but she instead crumbles into insanity, becoming merely tragic. It appears that Ophelia herself is not as important as her representation of the dual nature of women in the play. The extent to which Hamlet feels betrayed by Gertrude is far more apparent because of Ophelia's presence.
There is much evidence in the play that Hamlet deliberately feigned fits of madness in order to confuse and disconcert the king and his attendants. His avowed intention to act "strange or odd" and to "put an antic disposition on" 1 I.
The latter phrase, which is of doubtful interpretation, should be taken in its context and in connection with his other remarks that bear on the same question. To his old friend, Guildenstem, he intimates that "his uncle-father and aunt-mother are deceived," and that he is only "mad north-north-west.
But the intimation seems to mean nothing to the dull ears of his old school-fellow. When completing with Horatio the arrangements for the play, and just before the entrance of the court party, Hamlet says, "I must be idle. This evidently is a declaration of his intention to be "foolish," as Schmidt has explained the word.
This pretense of madness Shakespeare borrowed from the earlier versions of the story. The fact that he has made it appear like real madness to many critics today only goes to show the wideness of his knowledge and the greatness of his dramatic skill.
In the play the only persons who regard Hamlet as really mad are the king and his henchmen, and even these are troubled with many doubts. Polonius is the first to declare him mad, and he thinks it is because Ophelia has repelled his love. He therefore reports to the king that "Your noble son is mad" II.
His instructions to his henchmen, "Get from him why he puts on this confusion" II. Was not like madness. But it serves his wicked purpose to declare him a madman, and to make this the excuse for getting rid of him by sending him to England.
In this as in everything the king is insincere, and seeks not the truth but his own personal ends. She is herself, rather than Hamlet, "Like sweet bells jangled out of tune, and harsh. The poor distracted girl is no judge of lunacy, and knows little of real sanity. She cannot enter into the depth of his mind, and cannot understand that it is her own conduct that is strange and incoherent.
He saw much to be gained by it, and to this end he did many things that the persons of the drama must construe as madness. His avowed intention was to throw them off the track. To understand the madness as real is to make of the play a mad-house tragedy that could have no meaning for the very sane Englishmen for whom Shakespeare wrote.
Shakespeare never makes of his dramas mere exhibitions of human experience, wise or otherwise, but they are all studies in the spiritual life of man. His dramas are always elaborate attempts to get a meaning out of life, not attempts to show either its mystery, or its inconsequence, or its madness.
If Hamlet were thought of as truly mad, then his entrances and his exits could convey no meaning to sane persons, except the lesson to avoid insanity.
But it needs no drama to teach that. Romeo and Juliet I. Shakespeare-Lexicon, by Alexander Schmidt, 3rd edition, Berlin, How to cite this article: Hamlet, an ideal prince, and other essays in Shakesperean interpretation:Fukuoka | Japan Fukuoka | Japan.
Fifty Orwell Essays, by George Orwell, free ebook.
Get free homework help on William Shakespeare's Hamlet: play summary, scene summary and analysis and original text, quotes, essays, character analysis, and filmography courtesy of CliffsNotes. William Shakespeare's Hamlet follows the young prince Hamlet home to Denmark to attend his father's funeral.
Madness. Hamlet's .
TA Institutions with Pauper Lunatics in All County Asylums open in are listed and all Hospitals receiving paupers. Workhouses mentioned in the report are listed. The table lists all licensed houses receiving paupers in and shows which were commended and which severely censured in the Report.
In the Report, all asylums apart from workhouses are listed, but. Shakespeare, literary analysis - Hamlet’s Madness. Polonius' Observations on Hamlet's Madness Essay - Polonius' Observations on Hamlet's Madness The obedient Ophelia has followed her father's injunctions and repelled Hamlets .
You just finished Sample Character Analysis Essay - "Hamlet".Nice work! Previous Essay Next Essay.
|Fifty Orwell Essays||The following paper topics are based on the entire play.|
Tip: Use ← → keys to navigate!