Ophelia's Role In Hamlet Analysis

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During the time period between the 14th and 17th centuries, a cultural revolution, known as the Renaissance, took place. One of the topics of this cultural revolution that is widely controversial is the role and treatment of women. The play Hamlet by William Shakespeare features many characters that are perceived as strong, independent leads, such as King Claudius, and Polonius. However, in the same work, Shakespeare also composes characters of lesser strength and independence. The character that seems to fall victim to this view of weakness and foolishness is the female character, Ophelia. Many characters in the story push her around, do not allow her make independent decisions, and take advantage of her naïve nature. Ophelia allows this deception to occur because she believes that it is inevitable, because of the cultural standard of the time. Ophelia, like the majority of women during the Renaissance, is viewed as a weak female, and therefore, characters in Hamlet walk all over her and apply her to their mindless games. During the Renaissance time period, women were submissive to men; obeying the orders of the men in their lives. Celibacy…show more content…
The pair go through many ups and downs throughout the story and it is questionable whether or not they are actually in love. It is also indefinite whether or not Hamlet is playing games with Ophelia’s mind, tricking her into believing he has feelings for her. Their relationship is slightly toxic; their true feelings toward each other are never established. Other characters, such as Ophelia’s brother, Laertes, and her father, Polonius, question the motives of Hamlet towards Ophelia as well. While it can be thought that these two men actually care for Ophelia’s feelings, it can also be argued that they simply badger her because they are looking past her, to see how her life and her choices can benefit them. Laertes tells
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