Laertes(Ophelia's brother) loves her with all of his heart. He is always worried with her well being and whatever choices she may decide on. He tells Ophelia to be cautious of Hamlet's love and words to her. Laertes tells her that Hamlet seeks not her but what she can offer. Laertes also points out that Hamlet is evil and that she should fear him instead of loving him.
The Innocence of Gertrude and Ophelia “Pretty Ophelia,” as Claudius calls her, is the most innocent victim of Hamlet’s revenge in Shakespeare’s play Hamlet. Hamlet has fallen in love with Ophelia after the death of his father. Ophelia “sucked the honey of his music vows” and returned Hamlet’s affection. But when her father had challenged Hamlet’s true intentions, Ophelia could only say: “I do not know, my lord, what I should think.” Ophelia was used to relying on her father’s directions and she was also brought up to be obedient. 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.
This Ophelia is a victim of a distrustful lover and an authoritative father. She is an obedient daughter, who is controlled by her father Polonius, an advisor to King Claudius. Therefore, she believed she had to do everything her father told her to, which caused her to stifle her love and hurt Hamlet, the man she loved (Hamlet). In Branagh’s version, Ophelia is more emotionally mature and physically stronger. The reasons for her madness are outcomes “of her frustrated romance with [Hamlet] as well as her status as a pawn of all the men in her life” (William Shakespeare’s Hamlet; Teker, par.
The character Ophelia in William Shakespeare’s play Hamlet plays a very interesting and important role in the elaboration of the plot. In the beginning, she starts off in a healthy state of mind, in love with her boyfriend Hamlet, yet controlled by her father in regard to their relationship. During the play she encounters several troubling experiences involving Hamlet which cause her to become distressed. Near the end, the death of her father leaves Ophelia mentally unstable and in a state of madness that eventually leads her to death. So, due to all of the unfortunate events that took place with the people she loved the most in her life, Ophelia gradually becomes mad, and in the end passes away.
Making matters worse is the fact that Amanda is a very powerful, strong willed character, which seems to provoke Tom’s desire to leave. In the background of this story lies a character often mentioned but never available to answer claims. The mentioned but absent character is Tom and Laura’s father, who left their mother in an attempt to free himself from the bonds of matrimony and the title of father. Tom is representative of his father in this story. Tom favors his father’s passion for freedom from the overstretching, imposing will of his mother, but Tom also differs in that he can not justify the abandonment of his sister without insuring his sister’s well being.
That weakness of mind and will, which permitted her obedience to her father and thus destroyed her hope for Hamlet's love, finally resulted in her insanity and death. When her father had challenged the honor of Hamlet's intentions, Ophelia could only reply "I do not know, my lord, what I should think" (III, iii). Used to relying upon her father's direction and brought up to be obedient, she can only accept her father's belief, seconded by that of her brother, that Hamlet's "holy vows" of love were simply designed for her seduction. She was to obey her father's orders not to permit Hamlet to see her again. Her father also wanted to prove Hamlet's madness to the king.
He expresses this thought with his first soliloquy: O, most wicked speed, to post With such dexterity to incestuous sheets! (I.ii 156-157) Gertrude is seen as a loving mother, yet she can't tell how her own son is feeling towards the entire situation. She also tells Hamlet that "it is common for all men to die", however this person that has died isn't a "common" man but he is Hamlet's own father. So it is completely justified to grieve like Hamlet did. She also shows no awareness to how the sudden death of his father is tormenting Hamlet on the inside, so she isn't going to think deeply about King Hamlet's death or put any thought into what Hamlet is thinking.
Online http://www.field-ofothemes.com/shakespeare/shakehis.html. 26 Nov. 1999. Martin, Michael Rheta, and Richard C. Harrier. The Concise Encyclopedic Guide to Shakespeare. New York: Horizon Press, 1971. .