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Used to relying upon her fathers direction and brought up to be obedient, she can only accept her fathers belief, seconded by that of her brother, that Hamlets “holy vows” of love were simply designed for her seduction.She was to obey her fathers orders not to permit Hamlet to see her again.Ophelia is a beautiful and simple-minded woman, easily molded by the more powerful opinions and desires of others.
When Ophelia speaks about Valentines Day she is referring to the events of romance that she was denied.
Ophelias madness is brought on by her lack of being able to demonstrate any maturity in trying to cope with her losses and in return can only inflict her madness on the court.
That weakness of mind and will, which permitted her obedience to her father and thus destroyed her hope for Hamlets love, finally resulted in her insanity and death.
When her father had challenged the honor of Hamlets intentions, Ophelia could only reply “I do not know, my lord, what I should think” (III, iii).
Writing essays is one great way for students to show what they understand, practice backing up their theories with specific evidence from the text, and gain more facility with the process of writing about literature.
This lesson offers some essay questions and topics that will help students focus specifically on the theme of madness in Hamlet.You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree.Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.Hamlet put pressure on Ophelia by expecting her to surpass his mothers shortcomings and be an epitome of womankind.He searched her innocent face for some sign of loving truth that might restore his faith in her.Her father also wanted to prove Hamlets madness to the king.He used Ophelia as bait so he and the king could listen to Hamlets words. By not thinking for herself and only doing as her father wished, she ruined her chances of love with Hamlet.Ophelia is referring to the way her father used to treat her before the tragic incident of his death.The love within her madness is when she speaks about the events on “Valentines Day”(IV, v).Ophelia is still too much under the influence of her father to question his wisdom or authority, and she has no mind of her own to understand how much she has made her lover suffer.No matter how much it pained her to not see Hamlet, all she could see in his present behavior is the madness that terrified her.