Hamlet and Ophelia

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Hamlet and Ophelia 1. Plays have foils to help the audience understand important characters in the play. Foils are minor characters that have similarities and differences with a more important character in the play. Sometimes the minor character is just there for the character to talk to; this is the basis for being a foil. In the play "Hamlet," [Titles] by William Shakespeare, the character Ophelia is a foil to Hamlet. 2. Similarities are an important part of being a foil. One similarity that Hamlet and Ophelia share are that they both are children of controlling parents. [SV - 1] Hamlet's father, who is murdered[,] comes back as a ghost to tell him who his murderer is. This news is his father's way of controlling him from the grave. Hamlet's mother and stepfather are also controlling him by presuading [persuading] Hamlet not to go to Wittenburg. Men in those days went away to get an education. There was no need for Hamlet to do so because he was a prince. [As a Prince, he might have been even more likely to go abroad for his education.] Ophelia is controlled by her father also. She tells him how Hamlet has tried many times to express his affections for her. Ophelia's father does not believe Hamlet is sincere and orders her to stay away from him. Ophelia obeys her father[']s wishes. Women were expected to do as they were told and believed what they were told to be true. 3. Another similarity between Hamlet and Ophelia is their [the] feelings they have for each other. In the beginning of the play[,] we are lead [led] to believe that Hamlet loves Ophelia. This frightens Ophelia, but that does not mean she does not have feelings for him also. It is her father who discourages [encourages] her to suppress any feelings she may have then. Later in the play Ophelia confesses her love for Hamlet[,] and he then hides his feelings and denies that he loved her. He suggests that she goes [go] to a nunnery. This makes Ophelia feel worthless and not wanted. 4. Finally the reactions that the characters have to their fathers' deaths are also similar. When Hamlet learns that his father was murdered and that his stepfather is the killer[,] it is more than he can handle.

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