English 1102 17 April 2002 Ophelia's Violets Hamlet, a play written by William Shakespeare is filled with conflict and betrayal. The most obvious result of this betrayal is seen in the development and death of the character Ophelia. There are numerous references to flowers and their meanings.
The setting and plot of the play is established early in the story. The ghost of his father, the King, has advised hamlet to avenge his death. The king's brother has taken the throne and married the Queen. The king's brother was also, by admission by the ghost, to be his murderer. The main task set to Hamlet is to avenge his father's death.
Her relationship with Hamlet is intertwined with the fact that Hamlet is distracted from her because of his duty of revenge. This leads to a decomposition of their relationship. The first appearance of Ophelia is during a conversation with her brother Laertes.
They are discussing Hamlet's interest in her and the depth of that interest.
Laertes. For Hamlet, and the trifling of his favors, Hold it a fashion and a toy in blood, A violet in the youth of prime nature, Forward, not permanent, sweet, not lasting, The perfume and suppliance of a minute, No more. (1,3,6-11) Here Laertes is telling Ophelia his opinion of Hamlet's advances to her. They are nothing but trivial. "As for Hamlet, and his interest in you regard as no significance - as a youthful flirtation; an early flowering of nature in its springtime; fast blooming, therefore not enduring"(Durband 53-54) The reference to blooming and violets are seen here to describe Hamlets short lived interest in Ophelia. Ophelia responds to the opinion: Ophelia. I shall the effect of this good lesson keep As watchman to my heart. But good my...