The Effects of Love in Hamlet

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Love is easy to find in both fiction and reality and comes in many different forms. Love is no less common in Shakespeare’s Hamlet. More Intro. In Shakespeare’s Hamlet, love is very important, whether it be romantic, incestuous or taboo, or friendly, because it gives the reader an insightful way to analyze the reasons behind characters’ actions toward others. Romantic love is often considered the most sacred of all the different types of love because it is the hardest to find and maintain. There are several examples of romance in Hamlet, mainly between Ophelia and Hamlet and King Hamlet and Gertrude. The love that Hamlet and Ophelia share is difficult to find on the surface, but looking deeper, is quite extensive. While Hamlet does blatantly insult and frighten Ophelia, there is a reason as to why he acts so rude towards her: he is protecting her. The first example of this is when Ophelia runs out of her room saying “But truly I do fear it [Hamlet’s antic disposition]” (2, 1, 86). This occurs when Ophelia is describing how Hamlet was hiding in her room and appeared to be insane through his strange appearance and actions. A second example is when Hamlet tells Ophelia, “Get thee to a nunnery” (3, 1, 121). This occurs when Hamlet and Ophelia are talking while Claudius and Polonius are listening to their discussion. In this statement, the nunnery can be literally interpreted as a convent, thereby Ophelia would be a nun, or the nunnery could use its second, implied, meaning, a brothel, thereby Ophelia would be a prostitute. The reasoning behind why Hamlet frightens Ophelia in her bedroom and implies she is a prostitute is so she will not associate herself with Hamlet should his plans go awry. This will protect Ophelia because if Ham... ... middle of paper ... ...aertes and Hamlet and their competition for their family member’s love, Hamlet and Claudius, respectively, can be explained more simply. Although romantic, incestuous or not, love is often thought of as the main example of love, other types exist and are sometimes more powerful than romance. The final type of love common in Hamlet is friendship, description. The main examples of friendly love in Hamlet are between Hamlet and Horatio and Laertes and Hamlet. The friendship that Hamlet and Horatio is seen throughout the entire play. The first example The romantic love, incest, and friendship seen throughout Shakespeare’s Hamlet is important as it can help the reader to explain the seemingly inexplicable actions that the characters demonstrate towards each other throughout the play. Works Cited Shakespeare, William. Twelfth Night. New Haven: Yale UP, 1954. Print.
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