Satisfactory Essays
In The Tragedy of Hamlet, Hamlet’s antic disposition differs from Ophelia’s chronic psychosis. Ophelia dementia is motivated by severe existential crisis: Loss of selfhood. Whereas Hamlet toys with “madness”, Ophelia totally disengages from reality.
Shakespeare’s Hamlet assesses the consequences of losing self-hood, morality and integrity. Ophelia’s repressed desires never allow her to find her essence. Instead, she loses her integrity once she obeys Polonius and Laertes who emotionally and mentally repress her. In the play, Ophelia is warned by Laertes of Hamlet and later told by Polonius that she cannot be with Hamlet because he thinks the cause of his madness is their love and “From this time / be somewhat scanter of your maiden presence. / Set your entreatments at a higher rate / than a command to parley.” Act 1, sc 3 She has to give less time for him and she replies to her father "I shall obey, my lord" Act 1, sc 3, she remains as an obedient daughter although it risks her own selfhood and the chance to genuinely express herself. Her inability to display either her emotional or sexual desires for Hamlet causes her to be hysterical and be in a melancholic state.
In the closet scene, Ophelia meets with Hamlet to give back the love letters she has received from their relationship but unexpectedly was insulted by Hamlet. Once, she gives him the letters he is completely surprised and she tries to calm him down by telling him” My honored lord, you know right well you did… Rich gifts wax poor when givers prove unkind.” That she is sincerely telling him the truth and her feelings are sincere whereas his are feigned. Nevertheless, just as Hamlet tells Ophelia that she shouldn’t have believed him, he not only refuses to admit his feeli...

... middle of paper ... and once Gertrude death happens the scene unravels. He figures out it is Claudius fault and forcefully makes him drink poison and asks for forgiveness with Laertes. He asks Horatio to tell the kingdom of his story and what has happened in his life. In the end, Hamlet realizes saying the truth and being able to express yourself is the real freedom.
Shakespeare’s intention of Ophelia’s and Hamlet’s madness demonstrates the affects of society. In The Tragedy of Hamlet both of their madness was a result of a patriarchal society and how both demonstrate a complete behavioral change once their father was gone and transition into the verge of insanity or transition into insanity. Although both of their deaths are the reason of society driving them into madness, Hamlet’s death was by him increasing it by feigning while Ophelia’s death was caused by others and inevitable.