Preview
Click here for more Hamlet Essays
Preview

Analysis of Ophelia's Character in Shakespeare's Hamlet Essay

No Works Cited
Length: 1169 words (3.3 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Purple      
Open Document
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

In the English play Hamlet, Shakespeare incorporates deep analytical thought in his writing by the use of character, symbolism, and motifs. Specifically, readers can find these characteristics through analytical reading of the character Ophelia. While initially reading the story, Ophelia represents a character that is typical of the women in the 1600s, one who is too submissive and directed by the people around her. First impressions of Ophelia's character seem much too simplistic- one that is emotionally governed and trivial, in a sense. However, when her words are analyzed along with her motives and state of mind, it appears that there is a greater sense of understanding, an underlying motive that is directed and well thought out by her words. Deeper insight into her character reveals that Ophelia not only has her own opinion, but may possess a larger capacity for independent thought than the people she surrounds herself by. In fact, it isn't her lack of intelligence and understanding that leads to her ultimate demise, but instead, it is her lack of action to certain circumstances. This type of behavior can be symbolic of Shakespeare's views on English politics. It seems that a lack of action within the populace can lead to utter ruin in the state. A passiveness and lack of defense, as Ophelia characterizes, is also symbolic of the eventual downfall that is likely to occur if these characteristics are expressed in society. In addition to being a direct contrast of Hamlet, analysis of Ophelia as a character leads to the fact that she is intelligent in her understanding, but her lack of action is to blame for her eventual insanity and untimely death, which is characteristic of the society in England.
In this play, one of the m...


... middle of paper ...


...to be feared than loved. Fear has the power to capture a person, to make them do whatever is necessary to escape the emotion, arguably more than the power of love. Polonius is applying this tactic to Ophelia, in order for her to stop seeing Hamlet. In addition to applying governmental tactics to gain control of his daughter, Polonius creates an atmosphere where Ophelia is unknowing to the ways of the world, and must use paternal guidance in making life decisions. [You speak like a green girl, unsifted in such perilous circumstance] and [Marry, I will teach you…] are both statements that will make Polonius seem like a proactive parent. He is targeting both the Ophelia's supposed lack of knowledge as well as his ability to be the influential leader in a situation. However, Polonius may be mistaking the fact that Ophelia may actually be competent in these matters.



Click the button above to view the complete essay, speech, term paper, or research paper








This essay is 100% guaranteed.


Title Length Color Rating  
"To Be or not To Be:" Hamlet and His Suicidal Tendencies Essay - Thesis: Although most people believe that Hamlet is suicidal at his point in the play, it is not until this soliloquy where the audience actually learns of Hamlet’s ability to judge based on his emotion and logic. Hamlet’s ability to endure suffering allows him to realize how valuable and precious his life truly is. Anti-thesis: To live or not to live, a simple statement, yet full of meaning. It is in this statement where Hamlet proves to the audience that he is truly suicidal. William Shakespeare intended for Hamlet to be a tragic play of a hero: Hamlet....   [tags: Hamlet, Character Analysis, Shakespeare] 1106 words
(3.2 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Character Analysis of Claudius from the Play Hamlet by Shakespeare Essay - Character Analysis of Claudius from the Play Hamlet by Shakespeare In the play, "Hamlet", Shakespeare needed to devize an evil character, a villain that is ambitious, and has the ability to scheme to get what he wants. The character would also have to contain some good qualities, such as kindness and contriteness. These good qualities make the character seem more human and thus, more believable. Claudius is this character. Shakespeare uses Claudius in his revenge theme in this play. Without the acts of Claudius, this theme just would not be....   [tags: Hamlet William Shakespeare Plays Essays] 1251 words
(3.6 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay on Character Analysis in Shakespeare´s Hamlet - ... Throughout the Hamlet, Hamlet’s goal is to kill Claudius, satisfying his fathers ghost’s wishes as well as his own. However, Hamlet does not get the job done right away, he goes about harassing his mother, his friends, and even traveling playgroups before he finally get’s up the courage to do it. Even then, Hamlet only ends up killing his uncle because he himself is dying. Who knows if Hamlet would even have killed Claudius if not for Claudius acting first, to try to kill Hamlet. At times Hamlet is brave, as evidenced when he stabs through Gertrude’s curtains to kill the spy whom he assumes is Claudius, only to find out it is Polonius....   [tags: comtemplative, sexual, deviarcy, enigma] 852 words
(2.4 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Analysis of Prince Hamlet's Character in William Shakespeare's Play Essay examples - Analysis of Hamlet in William Shakespeare's Play Shakespeare's Hamlet is at the outset a typical revenge play. However, it is possible to see Prince Hamlet as a more complex character as he can be seen as various combinations of a weak revenger, a tragic hero and a political misfit. In order to fully understand the world in which Hamlet finds himself, it is necessary to examine all three of these roles and either dismiss them or justify Hamlet's behavior as a revenger. As a tragic hero, Hamlet displays many typical qualities of a traditional hero in a Elizabethan revenge tragedy....   [tags: Papers Shakespeare Hamlet] 1577 words
(4.5 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Character Analysis of Gertude in Shakespeare's Hamlet Essay - ... She tries everything she can think of to help bring Hamlet out of his madness, including using Opehilla as a instrument to bring Hamlet to his normal state. Gertrude is trying hard to return Hamlet to sanity because she loves him. In another scene, begin their performance of The Murder of Gonzago or The Mousetrap, Gertrude requests that her “dear Hamlet” come sit by him, because she enjoys the company of her son and wants him to feel welcome. She also hopes that her close chaperonage might allow her to prevent any embarrassing behavior....   [tags: cares, love, physical, health] 594 words
(1.7 pages)
Research Papers [preview]
Essay on Lethal Procrastination: Hamlet - A question that stumps great minds that are not alike is one that is still a discussion for debate even four hundred years after it arrival. Why does Hamlet delay. Not only did it make a suspenseful and dramatic play that captures the attention of an audience but it also gives away to what kind of character William Shakespeare wants to create for his young tragic hero, Prince Hamlet. This Hamlet is a man who suffers from his own words that “the native hue of resolution / Is sicklied o’er with the pale cast of thought,” (III, I, 85-86)....   [tags: character analysis, hamlet, shakespeare]
:: 1 Works Cited
1462 words
(4.2 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Character Analysis of Ophelia and Gertude in Shakespeare´s Hamlet Essay - ... He always knew she would obey his rules no matter what. She lived her life through her father’s shadow. She was never taught to think on her own, but rather letting her father think for her. For instance, “Ophelia tells her father during their first conversation about Hamlet. Polonius responds from a position of authority over Ophelia, asserting his power as the decision-maker between the two of them” (Woolf 3) “Marry, I'll teach you: think yourself a baby; That you have ta'en these tenders for true pay, Which are not sterling....   [tags: property, non-controlling, inferior, dependent] 1136 words
(3.2 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Analysis of the Character Hamlet in William Shakespeare's Hamlet, The Prince of Denmark - Analysis of the Character Hamlet in William Shakespeare's Hamlet, The Prince of Denmark First performed in 1603, Hamlet, The Prince of Denmark is probably the best known of William Shakespeare's works, and may well be the most famous English language play ever written. The character, Hamlet, is one of the most compelling characters to ever emerge from the pages of English literature. Hamlet has been the center of admiring critical commentaries. It has also developed a reputation as a difficult work to analyze....   [tags: Papers] 479 words
(1.4 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay on The Importance of Fortinbras - ... Also in Act 4, Fortinbras and his army march into Denmark on their way to invade Poland for a small piece of land worth hardly anything. However, earlier in the play, Volremand receives information that this attack is not directed towards Poland, but rather King Claudius. Although swearing not to invade Denmark, Fortinbras still arrives on the coast of the country. Fortinbras then sends his Captain to greet Hamlet and ask for permission to pass through Denmark. While in conversation with the Captain, Hamlet states that “Two thousand souls and twenty thousand ducats/ Will not debate the question of this straw./ This is th' imposthume of much wealth and peace” (Ham....   [tags: Shakespeare's Hamlet, character analysis]
:: 2 Works Cited
969 words
(2.8 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Essay on Ophelia's Road to Madness - ... When Ophelia finds out about her fathers death it causes her to really open her eyes. Ophelias dependence on men to tell her what to do was eventually gone, she had lost a man in her life who always told her what to do. She is now able to express her feelings in a manor that breaks the strict social conditions she lived by as a woman. She starts wondering around the castle and singing songs of her emotions and feel that she is suffering from “the extremity of her emotions, which in such a frail person led to melancholy and eventual breakdown” (Teker 114)....   [tags: Shakespeare's Hamlet, character analysis]
:: 4 Works Cited
941 words
(2.7 pages)
Better Essays [preview]