Ophelia believes Hamlet loves her but, because of her father’s wishes, constantly turns him down and denies that she feels the same way. Ophelia finally denounces denies that she loves him but Hamlet states that "I did love you once." He also stated that "You should not have believed me, for virtue cannot so inoculate our old stock but we shall relish of it. I loved you not." "Get thee to a nunnery."
Similarities are an important part of being a foil. One similarity that Hamlet and Ophelia share are that they both are children of controlling parents. [SV - 1] Hamlet's father, who is murdered, comes back as a ghost to tell him who his murderer is. This news is his father's way of controlling him from the grave. Hamlet's mother and stepfather are also controlling him by persuading Hamlet not to go to Wittenburg.
This allowed her to only accept her father’s views that Hamlet’s attention towards her was only to take advantage of her and to obey her father’s orders not to permit Hamlet to see her again. Hamlet has the disillusion that women are frail after his mother’s rushed remarriage as shown by “Frailty, thy name is woman!” He also believes women do not have the power to reason. (“O God, a beast that wants discourse of reason.”) Ophelia has the power to change his view but her unexplained rejection of him only adds to Hamlet’s disillusion. The ghost’s revelation that Gertrude dishonored Hamlet’s father but also their marriage by the adultery with Claudius is contemplated by Hamlet until he goes into Ophelia’s room to look upon her. As Hamlet searches Ophelia’s face for some sign that might restore his faith in her, he instead believes her face shows guilt and thinks she is another false Gertrude.
The Foils of Hamlet Many playwrights utilize foils to assist the audience in understanding the meaning of a play or the motivations of the characters . Foils are minor characters that have similarities or differences with a major character. Sometime the minor character is in the play so the major character has someone to speak with. The similarities between the foil and the major may include gender, same social class, or may be in the same situation. The differences between the two may be an important aspect in their character.
Note also how differently Laertes is treated by his father, compared to the lack of regard shown to Ophelia by Polonius. Women had little status, and Ophelia's wishes are not considered at any time. Torn apart as she is by divided loyalty it is no wonder that the strain on her eventually leads to her madness and subsequent death. That she loves Hamlet is without question. She is distraught when she observes his behaviour before the nunnery scene, and after his savage rejection of her in that scene she laments his "noble mind..here o'erthrown" She also grieves for herself, "Oh woe is me, t'have seen what I have seen, see what I see."
In the beginning of the play, Hamlet has returned from Wittenberg to honor the death of his father, King Hamlet, and the ghost of his dead father suddenly confronts him. The ghost of King Hamlet has returned to inform his son about the murder that his brother has committed. While King Hamlet was asleep, his brother, Claudius, placed poison in his ear and left him suffering to die. The ghost of King Hamlet sets the main conflict of the play into motion and puts the idea of revenge into Hamlet’s mind. He says to Hamlet: If though hast nature in thee, bear it not, Let not the royal bed of Denmark be A couch for luxury and damned incest.
If Laertes was so concerned with her well being when she was in love with Hamlet then why didn't Laertes show concern with her life and protect her during her weak point of her life? I do believe that Laertes truly loved Ophelia and would do anything for her but at the time of her madness he was too concerned with the death of his father to pay attention to Ophelia. Polonius acts toward Ophelia with dispise and disgust. Polonius uses her as a tool to become closer and get on Claudius' good side. Polonius cares nothing for Ophelia: she is considered as a pawn in a chess game only to protect the king, Polonius.
Hamlet wants to put Gertrude on a moral path when he tells her: "go not to my uncle 's bed; Assume a virtue, if you have it not" (III.IV.160-161). But when Gertrude says: "What shall I do?" (III.IV.182) she is not really going to change her behavior. Her question just reflects her conflict between son and husband and her wish to please both of them at the same time. If Gertrude had shown more sympathy for Hamlet, some of his anger might have died down.
Hamlet got it to talk and found out that it is indeed his father. The ghost tells Hamlet the story of his death and Hamlet believes every word. The ghost told Hamlet about his murderer and asks him to not hurt Hamlet's mother, Gertrude. When Hamlet found out that his father was killed by Claudius, his uncle and soon to be step-father. Hamlet plans to avenge his fathers murder by killing King Claudius.
After a visit from his dead father as a ghost, and the revelation of his uncle's betrayal, Hamlet embarks on a path to avenge the death of his father (Shakespeare). In the midst of all the lies and deceptions, before his ultimate downfall Hamlet achieves his goal of avenging the death of his father by killing Claudius, while liberating Denmark from a deceitful ruler; his uncle Claudius. The death of King Hamlet established a mission to accomplish for the main character of the play. After his visit with the ghost, Hamlet discovered his mission - killing Claudius. However, he was still doubtful if the information he got from the ghost was truthful.