Hamlet - He loves her? he loves her not?

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorHigh School, 12th grade February 2008

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The Elizabethan play Hamlet by William Shakespeare is without a doubt one of Shakespeare?s most puzzling plays. Although the play has a concise story, it is filled with many questions pertaining to different topics behind the story line. One question in particular is did Hamlet really love Ophelia? This argument can be supported in both directions, however I feel that Hamlet did love Ophelia. Support for this decision comes from Hamlet?s treatment towards Ophelia in Act 3, Scene 2, and at Ophelia?s grave in Act 5, Scene 1.

The play Hamlet is about the trials, and tribulations met by Prince Hamlet, as he tries to seek revenge for his father?s murder. Since, Hamlet discovers the murder of his father, and the adultery and incest committed by his mother he retains a very bitter and pessimistic view of the world. "That the Everlasting had not fixed His cannon ?gainst self-slaughter ? how weary, stale, flat, and unprofitable seem to me all the uses of this world."

(14 Act 1 Scene 2 Line 131). It is through his soliloquy?s that the audience learns the depths of Hamlet?s depression. Hamlet not only regards the world with pessimism, but he also has suicidal feelings. The main reason at this point for his anger and frustration, is his mother?s abrupt marriage to Claudius. The actions of his mother seem to be what disgusts him most as he yells, "frailty thy name is woman!" (14 Act 1 Scene 2 Line 146). It is this attitude that Hamlet has developed towards his mother and women in general that plays a factor on his later treatment of Ophelia in Act 3.

Once Hamlet discovers the cause of his father?s death, he assumes the disposition of a mad man to disguise his true intentions of revenge.