Ophelia's Road to Madness

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Ophelia’s Road to Madness

Ophelia comes off as a powerful image in the feminist imagination. The start of Ophelia’s madness is contributed through examination of her relationships, and soon adding up the the loss of her loved ones, her father Polonius, her brother, Laertes, and her lover Hamlet. Ophelia intrigued me as a character, while reading Hamlet I was thinking to myself, was what happened to Ophelia too much for her to handle, or was she this unstable person all along and never really had anything happen to her to help trigger her madness until now? What happens to her are the impulses of the men who control her. The alternative to her way of expressing her self is through madness and later on death.

From the beginning of Hamlet Ophelia was a pure, genuine, happy person and had found her true love. Ophelia’s brother warns her to stay away from Hamlet because he is just going to hurt her and that he is never going to really love her, she is to be obedient and follow what they say,

Laertes: “ For Hamlet and the trifling of this favor, Hold it a fashion, and a toy in blood, A violet in the youth of primy nature, Forward, not permanent, sweet, not lasting, The perfume and suppliance of a minute, No more.”

Ophelia: “ I shall th’effect of this good lesson keep As watchman to my heart. But good my brother, Do not as some ungracious pastors do, Show me the steep and thorny way to heaven, Whiles like a puffed and reckless libertime Himself the primrose path of dalliance trends, And recks not this own rede” ( I. III. 1-135).

Ophelia relies greatly on her father and her brother direction and guidance. Therefore, it is out of respect that Ophelia feels compelled to follow her father’s direct request to abandon her feelings...

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...ife has been is constantly being pushed around by men with her having to keep the expectations of society. The defenselessness to try and fix her life is what makes Ophelia’s death an important part of Hamlet and her madness was well logical.

Works Cited.

Campbell, Erin E. "Sad Generations Seeking Water": The Social Construction Of Madness In O(Phelia) And Q(Uentin Compson)." Faulkner Journal 20.1/2 (2004): 53-70. Academic Search Premier. Web. 5 Dec. 2012.

Carroll, Camden. Shakespeare Quarterly, Vol. 15, No. 2 (Spring, 1964), pp. 247-255

Shakespeare, William, Richard Andrews, and Rex Gibson. Hamlet. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1994. Print.

Teker, Gulsen Sayin. "Empowered By Madness: Ophelia In The Films Of Kozintsev, Zeffirelli, And Branagh." Literature Film Quarterly 34.2 (2006): 113-119. Academic Search Premier. Web. 5 Dec. 2012.
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