Love in the Two Tragedies: William Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet and Hamlet.

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Two among the famous works of Shakespeare are Romeo and Juliet and Hamlet. And in both of these works, love is portrayed in different ways. Romeo and Juliet disregarded their obstacles and pursued their love until their death while Hamlet and Ophelia allowed family circumstances to affect their relationship.

Both couples encountered problems that involved each one's family affecting each couple's relationship. In Romeo and Juliet, even before the play begins, the conflict between the families of the Capulets and the Montagues is expressed in the prologue:

Two households, both alike in dignity

(In fair Verona, where we lay our scene),

From ancient grudge break to new mutiny,

Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean. (PRO.1-4)

This hatred or conflict between the families is so great that everyone except the people in the house of Montagues is invited to join the party that the Capulets are having:

Now I'll tell you without asking.


master is the great rich Capulet, and, if you be not

of the house of Montagues, I pray come and crush a

cup of wine. Rest you merry. (1.2.85-88)

While in Hamlet, Polonius orders Ophelia not to see or even talk with Hamlet anymore:

In few, Ophelia,

Do not believe his vows, for they are brokers,

Not of that dye which their investments show,

But mere implorators of unholy suits,

Breathing like sanctified and pious bawds

The better to beguile. This is for all:

I would not, in plain terms, from this time forth

Have you so slander any moment leisure

As to give words or talk with the Lord Hamlet.

Look to't, I charge you. Come your ways. (1.3.135-144)

And Ophelia quickly replies with, "I shall obey, my lord." (1.3.145). And with that, Hamlet and Ophelia's relationship as a couple is ended.

Though Romeo and Juliet's so-called love story only took a few days, many great events happened including the tragic end, which was the death of the lovers. Romeo and Juliet first met when Romeo and his friends decided to attend the party at the Capulets' house. And the moment

Romeo saw Juliet, he quickly fell in love with her and asked a servingman about her, "What lady's that which doth enrich the hand of yonder knight?" (1.5.48-49). And continues with:

O, she doth teach the torches to burn bright!

It seems she hangs upon the cheek of night

As a rich jewel in an Ethiop's ear -

Beauty too rich for use, for earth too dear.

So shows a snowy dove trooping with crows

As yonder lady o'er her fellows shows.

The measure done, I'll watch her place of stand

And, touching hers, make blessed my rude hand.

Did my heart love till now? Forswear it, sight,

For I ne'er saw true beauty till this night. (1.5.51-60)

From this, we can see Romeo's love at first sight towards Juliet. He proclaims Juliet to be the only "true beauty" he's ever seen. After a while, Romeo, while taking Juliet's hand, asked her if he could kiss her:

If I profane with my unworthiest hand

This holy shrine, the gentle sin is this:

My lips, two blushing pilgrims, ready stand

To smooth that rough touch with a tender kiss. (1.5.104-107)

Both Romeo and Juliet didn't know each other's names. So Romeo asked the nurse for the name of Juliet. After the nurse told him that Juliet is a Capulet, he realized that he would not be able to pursue his love for her because of their families' rivalry:

Is she a Capulet?

O dear account! My life is my foe's debt. (1.5.131-132)

Juliet also asked the nurse to get Romeo's name. Upon knowing that Romeo was a Montague, Juliet was deeply hurt and upset:

My only love sprung from my only hate!

Too early seen unknown, and known too late!

Prodigious birth of love it is to me

That I must love a loathed enemy. (1.5.152-155)

After their first meeting, Romeo and Juliet meet in the most famous balcony scene where Juliet spoke her famous line: "O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?" (2.2.36). There, Romeo confessed his love for her. And Juliet requested Romeo to give up his being a Montague:

Deny thy father and refuse thy name,

Or, if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love,

And I'll no longer be a Capulet. (2.2.37-39)

Juliet admitted that it is only their name that hindered their love for each other:

'Tis but thy name that is my enemy.

Thou art thyself, though not a Montague.

What's Montague? It is nor hand, nor foot,

Nor arm, nor face, nor any other part

Belonging to a man. O, be some other name!

What's in a name? That which we call a rose

By any other word would smell as sweet.

So Romeo would, were he not Romeo called,

Retain that dear perfection which he owes

Without that title. Romeo, doff thy name,

And, for thy name, which is no part of thee,

Take all myself. (2.2.41-51)

Before the couple separates, they confess their love for each other. Then Juliet proposes their marriage:

Three words, dear Romeo, and good night indeed.

If that thy bent of love be honorable,

Thy purpose marriage, send me word tomorrow,

By one that I'll procure to come to thee,

Where and what time thou wilt perform the rite,

And all my fortunes at thy foot I'll lay

And follow thee my lord throughout the world. (2.2.149-155)

So Juliet arranged the nurse to meet Romeo the next morning, "By the hour of nine." (2.2.182), to get further details about their said marriage.

The next morning, Romeo visited Friar Lawrence to ask him for his consent to marry Romeo and Juliet:

Then plainly know my heart's dear love is set

On the fair daughter of rich Capulet.

As mine on hers, so hers is set on mine,

And all combined, save what thou must combine

By holy marriage. When and where and how

We met, we wooed, and made exchange of vow

I'll tell thee as we pass, but this I pray,

That thou consent to marry us today. (2.3.61-68)

Thinking that Romeo and Juliet's marriage would be the key to finally put an end to their families' rivalry, Friar Lawrence agreed to marry the couple:

But come, young waverer, come, go with me.

In one respect I'll thy assistant be,

For this alliance may so happy prove

To turn your households' rancor to pure love. (2.3.96-99)

The nurse arrived and looked for Romeo, then asked him about the plans for his marriage to Juliet. Romeo then informed her about the plans:

Bid her (Juliet) devise

Some means to come to shrift this afternoon,

And there she shall at Friar Lawrence' cell

Be shrived and married. (2.4.183-186)

After which, the nurse returned to the Capulet's house and told Juliet that she and Romeo will meet at Friar Lawrence's cell that afternoon to get married. After hearing this, Juliet, of course, was tremendously happy and, as described by the nurse: "Now comes the wanton blood up in your cheeks." (2.5.75). Juliet was blushing!

As Romeo and Juliet met in Friar Lawrence's cell, the couple expresses their love and excitement to get married. Romeo uttered:

Ah, Juliet, if the measure of thy joy

Be heaped like mine, and that thy skill be more

To blazon it, then sweeten with thy breath

This neighbor air, and let rich music's tongue

Unfold the imagined happiness that both

Receive in either by this dear encounter. (2.6.24-29)

And Juliet answered:

Conceit, more rich in matter than in words,

Brags of his substance, not of ornament.

They are but beggars that can count their worth,

But my true love is grown to such excess

I cannot sum up sum of half my wealth. (2.6.30-34)

Friar Lawrence then married Romeo and Juliet:

Come, come with me, and we will make short work,

For, by your leaves, you shall not stay alone

Till Holy Church incorporate two in one. (2.6.35-37)

That night, Juliet waited for Romeo to come visit and sleep with her because she still has not heard of Romeo's exile:

Come, night. Come, Romeo. Come, thou day in


For thou wilt lie upon the wings of night

Whiter than new snow upon a raven's back.

Come, gentle night; come, loving black-browed


Give me my Romeo, and when I shall die,

Take him and cut him out in little stars,

And he will make the face of heaven so fine

That all the world will be in love with night

And pay no worship to the garish sun. (3.2.17-27)

After the nurse told Juliet about Tybalt's death and Romeo being the one who killed him, Juliet felt sorrow for her cousin Tybalt and got angry with Romeo:

O serpent heart hid with a flow' ring face!

Did ever dragon keep so fair a cave?

Beautiful tyrant, fiend angelical!

Dove-feathered raven, wolvish-ravening lamb!

Despised substance of divinest show!

Just opposite to what thou justly seem'st,

A damned saint, an honorable villain. (3.2.79-85)

In other words, Juliet thought Romeo as a devil with an angel's appearance. But after a short while, she took back what she said and instead felt deeply sad about Romeo's banishment:

Shall I speak ill of him that is my husband?

Ah, poor my lord, what tongue shall smooth thy


When I, thy three-hours wife, have mangled it? (3.2.106-109)

Then continues:

"Tybalt is dead and Romeo banished."

That "banished," that one word "banished,"

Hath slain ten thousand Tybalts. Tybalt's death

Was woe enough if it had ended there;

Or, if sour woe delights in fellowship

And needly will be ranked with other griefs,

Why followed not, when she said "Tybalt's dead,"

"Thy father" or "thy mother," nay, or both,

Which modern lamentation might have moved?

But with a rearward following Tybalt's death,

"Romeo is banished." To speak that word

Is father, mother, Tybalt, Romeo, Juliet,

All slain, all dead. "Romeo is banished."

There is no end, no limit, measure, bound,

In that word's death. No words can woe that sound. (3.2.123-137)

Here we can see Juliet seemed to be as good as dead because of Romeo's banishment. And when she asked the nurse where her father and mother is, the nurse told her that her parents were crying over Tybalt's dead body. Also, she would rather cry for Romeo's banishment than Tybalt's death:

Wash they his wounds with tears? Mine shall be


When theirs are dry, for Romeo's banishment. (3.2.141-143)

Friar Lawrence then brought news to Romeo about the Prince's judgment. Romeo could not accept that he was banished from Verona and said that it was as good as being dead. Friar Lawrence argued that "banishment" was better than "death". But Romeo argues that being banished would mean him not seeing Juliet:

'Tis torture and not mercy. Heaven is here

Where Juliet lives, and every cat and dog

And little mouse, every unworthy thing,

Live here in heaven and may look on her,

But Romeo may not. More validity,

More honorable state, more courtship lives

In carrion flies than Romeo They may seize

On the white wonder of dear Juliet's hand

And steal immortal blessing from her lips,

Who even in pure and vestal modesty

Still blush, as thinking their own kisses sin;

But Romeo may not; he is banished.

Flies may do this, but I from this must fly.

They are free men, but I am banished. (3.3.31-44)

During their conversation, Romeo attempts suicide:

O, tell, Friar, tell me.

In what vile part of this anatomy

Doth my name lodge? Tell me, that I may sack

The hateful mansion. [He draws his dagger.] (3.3.114-117)

Friar Lawrence then convinced Romeo not to kill himself and instead, live his life for

Juliet. Friar Lawrence then told Romeo to go and visit Juliet in their house to comfort her and spend the night with her. Then leave for Mantua the next morning:

Go, get thee to thy love, as was decreed.

Ascend her chamber. Hence and comfort her.

But look thou stay not till the watch be set,

For then thou canst not pass to Mantua,

Where thou shalt live till we can find a time

To blaze your marriage, reconcile your friends,

Beg pardon of the Prince, and call thee back

With twenty hundred thousand times more joy

Than thou went'st forth in lamentation. (3.3.156-164)

Friar Lawrence then instructed the nurse to tell Juliet that Romeo will be coming that night:

Go before, Nurse. Commend me to thy lady,

And bid her hasten all the house to bed,

Which heavy sorrow makes them apt unto.

Romeo is coming. (3.3.165-168)

Friar Lawrence then told Romeo that he would, by and by, inform him through his servants whatever news concerning the Prince's judgment on him:

"Go hence, good night - and here stands all your


Either be gone before the watch be set

Or by the break of day disguised from hence.

Sojourn in Mantua. I'll find out your man,

And he shall signify from time to time

Every good hap to you that chances here.

Give me thy hand. 'Tis late. Farewell. Good night. (3.3.176-183)

As Romeo and Juliet depart, they both argued if it is already time for Romeo to leave. Juliet insisted that it was still early and that Romeo should not yet leave:

Wilt thou be gone? It is not yet near day.

It was the nightingale, and not the lark,

That pierced the fearful hollow of thine ear.

Nightly she sings on yond pomegranate tree.

Believe me, love, it was the nightingale. (3.5.1-5)

Then Romeo answered:

I must be gone and live, or stay and die. (3.5.11)

Romeo, being convinced by Juliet, changed his mind and instead, wanted to stay with

Juliet longer:

I have more care to stay than will to go.

Come death and welcome. Juliet wills it so.

How is't, my soul? Let's talk. It is not day. (3.5.23-25)

Juliet then changed her mind and insisted that Romeo should now leave, for he might be killed if anyone sees him. So they bid each other their farewells and kissed, then Romeo left.

Lady Capulet then talked with Juliet about her upcoming marriage with Paris. Juliet declined, saying:

I will not marry yet, and when I do I swear

It shall be Romeo, whom you know I hate,

Rather than Paris. (3.5.126-128)

Lady Capulet seemed to refuse to hear Juliet refusing her marriage with Paris. Old Capulet got angry with Juliet and forced her to marry Paris after three days:

But fettle your fine joints 'gainst Thursday next

To go with Paris to Saint Peter's Church,

Or I will drag thee on a hurdle thither.

Out, you green-sickness carrion! Out, you baggage!

You tallow face! (3.5.158-162)

Old Capulet and Lady Capulet didn't mind and care what Juliet said. Even if Juliet begged them to just delay the marriage for a week or so, they still didn't mind her:

Talk not to me, for I'll not speak a word.

Do as thou wilt, for I have done with thee. [Lady Capulet speaking] (3.5.214-215)

The next day, Juliet went to Friar Lawrence to ask help. She told Friar Lawrence that if he cannot do anything to stop the marriage, she would kill herself:

Tell me not, Friar, that thou hearest of this,

Unless thou tell me how I may prevent it.

If in thy wisdom thou canst give no help,

Do thou but call my resolution wise,

And with this knife I'll help it presently. [She shows him her knife] (4.1.51-55)

Give me some present counsel, or, behold,

'Twixt my extremes and me this bloody knife

Shall play the umpire, arbitrating that

Which the commission of thy years and art

Could to no issue of true honor bring.

Be not so long to speak. I long to die

If what thou speak'st speak not of remedy. (4.1.62-68)

The friar suggested of a remedy. Juliet said that she would do anything and would go through anything to escape her marriage to Paris, because she insisted that she would be loyal to Romeo as his wife:

And I will do it without fear or doubt,

To live an unstained wife to my sweet love. (4.1.89-90)

Friar Lawrence then gave Juliet a vial, which will cause her body to seem to be dead for forty-two hours so that she can escape her marriage. And the friar assured her that when she wakes up in their vault, Romeo would be there to accompany her and escape to Mantua so that they will live together there:

Take thou this vial, being then in bed,

And this distilling liquor drink thou off;

When presently through all thy veins shall run

A cold and drowsy humor; for no pulse

Shall keep his native progress, but surcease.

No warmth, no breath shall testify thou livest.

The roses in thy lips and cheeks shall fade

To paly ashes, thy eyes' windows fall

Like death when he shuts up the day of life. (4.1.95-103)

Thou shalt continue two and forty hours

And then awake from a pleasant sleep.

Now, when the bridegroom in the morning comes

To rouse thee from thy bed, there art thou dead. (4.1.107-110)

In the meantime, against thou shalt awake,

Shall Romeo by my letters know our drift,

And hither shall he come, and he and I

Will watch thy waking, and that very night

Shall Romeo bear thee hence to Mantua. (4.1.115-119)

So Friar Lawrence gave Juliet the vial and sent her home, telling her that he would send letters to Romeo informing him about their plan.

In Mantua, Balthasar, one of Romeo's men, told Romeo about Juliet's death. Romeo then ordered Balthasar to hire horses so that they can leave for Verona immediately. Romeo planned to poison himself when he reaches the vault where Juliet's "dead" body lies, thinking that in this way, he can join Juliet in his death. He buys the poison from an apothecary:

Hold, there is forty ducats. Let me have

A dram of poison, such soon-speeding gear

As will disperse itself through all the veins,

That the life-weary taker may fall dead,

And that the trunk may be discharged of breath

As violently as hasty powder fired

Doth hurry from the fatal cannon's womb. (5.1.63-69)

Friar Lawrence sent Friar John to give the letter to Romeo telling him of the plan he and Juliet made. But Friar John was not able to reach Mantua because people suspected him of having an infectious disease that was prevalent in their place:

I could not send it here it is again

Nor get a messenger to bring it thee,

So fearful were they of infection. (5.3.14-16)

When Romeo arrived at the vault, Paris was also there. Paris dared to fight with Romeo, and Romeo killed him. Romeo went up to Juliet's grave and there, he still proclaims Juliet's astounding beauty despite the fact that she was already dead:

For here lies Juliet, and her beauty makes

This vault a feasting presence full of light. (5.3.85-86)

O my love, my wife,

Death, that hath sucked the honey of thy breath,

Hath had no power yet upon thy beauty.

Thou art not conquered. Beauty's ensign yet

Is crimson in thy lips and in thy cheeks,

And death's pale flag is not advanced there. (5.3.91-96)

Romeo then bade farewell to Juliet before he drank his poison:

Eyes, look upon your last.

Arms, take your last embrace. And, lips, O, you

The doors of breath, seal with a righteous kiss

A dateless bargain to engrossing death. [Kissing Juliet] (5.3.112-115)

So Romeo died, Friar Lawrence arrived and Juliet awakened. Juliet asked the friar where Romeo is:

O comfortable Friar, where is my lord?

I do remember well where I should be,

And there I am. Where is my Romeo?

The friar answered:

A greater power than we can contradict

Hath thwarted our intents. Come, come away.

Thy husband in thy bosom there lies dead. (5.3.158-160)

The friar then asked Juliet to go out with him, but she refused. She stayed and saw her husband dead:

What's here? A cup closed in my true love's hand?

Poison, I see, hath been his timeless end. -

O churl, drunk all, and left no friendly drop

To help me after! I will kiss thy lips.

Haply some poison yet doth hand on them,

To make me die with a restorative. [She kiss him]

Thy lips are warm! (5.3.166-172)

Seeing Romeo's dagger, Juliet grabbed it and stabbed herself, and after a short while, died:

O, happy dagger,

This is thy sheath. There rust, and let me die. (5.3.174-175)

After everyone found out what happened, the Prince, Old Montague and Old Capulet met and talked about what had happened. Friar Lawrence recounted to everyone what really happened, including the couple's secret marriage and their plan for Juliet to escape her marriage with Paris. The story ended with the two families reconciling because of their children's deaths.

In Hamlet, Hamlet and Ophelia's so-called love story is not much detailed as Romeo and Juliet's. Ophelia's character was first introduced in the third scene of the first act where Laertes and Polonius both advised and lectured Ophelia to stay away from Hamlet and reject his love:

For Hamlet, and the trifling of his favor,

Hold it a fashion and a toy in blood,

A violet in the youth of primy nature,

Forward, not permanent, sweet, not lasting,

The perfume and suppliance of a minute,

No more. (1.3.6-10)

Perhaps he loves you now,

And now no soil nor cautel doth besmirch

The virtue of his will; but you must fear,

His greatness weighed, his will is not his own,

For he himself is subject to his birth.

He may not, as unvalued persons do,

Carve for himself, for on his choice depends

The safety and the health of this whole state. (1.3.17-24)

Fear it, Ophelia; fear it, my dear sister,

And keep you in the rear of your affection,

Out of the shot and danger of desire. (1.3.37-39)

In here, Laertes told Ophelia that Hamlet would always choose the state and fulfill his responsibilities because he's a prince. And for this reason, Hamlet may, in time, disregard his love for Ophelia.

In Polonius and Ophelia's dialogue, Ophelia admitted her relationship with Hamlet. Polonius told Ophelia that whatever love Hamlet showed to her would not last and ordered her to stop seeing Hamlet:

Marry, well bethought.

'Tis told me he (Hamlet) hath very oft of late

Given private time to you, and you yourself

Have of your audience been most free and

Bounteous. (1.3.98-102)

Ophelia answered:

He hath, my lord, of late made many tenders

Of his affection to me. (1.3.108-109)

Polonius continued:

Think yourself a baby

That you have ta'en these tenders for true pay,

Which are not sterling. Tender yourself more dearly,

Or not to crack the wind of the poor phrase,

Running it thus you'll tender me a fool. (1.3.114-118)

Ophelia replied:

My lord, he hath importuned me with love

In honorable fashion - (1.3.119-120)

And hath given countenance to his speech, my lord,

With almost all the holy vows of heaven. (1.3.122-123)

Polonius ordered (as I've stated in the first page):

In few, Ophelia,

Do not believe his vows, for they are brokers,

Not of that dye which their investments show,

But mere implorators of unholy suits,

Breathing like sanctified and pious bawds

The better to beguile. This is for all:

I would not, in plain terms, from this time forth

Have you so slander any moment leisure

As to give words or talk with the Lord Hamlet.

Look to't, I charge you. Come your ways. (1.3.135-144)

Then Ophelia, wanting to obey and honor her father, answered:

I shall obey, my lord. (1.3.145)

In the first scene of act two, Ophelia approached Polonius reporting about Hamlet's unusual behavior. Hamlet seemed mad and not in his proper state of mind. As reported by Ophelia,

Lord Hamlet, with his doublet all unbraced,

No hat upon his head, his stockings fouled,

Ungartered, and down-gyved to his ankle,

Pale as his shirt, his knees knocking each other,

And with a look so piteous in purport

As if he had been loosed out of hell

To speak of horrors - he comes before me. (2.1.88-94)

He took me by the wrist and held me hard.

Then goes he to the length of all his arm,

And, with his other hand thus o'er his brow,

He falls to such perusal of my face

As he would draw it. Long stayed he so. (2.1.99-103)

So Polonius asked Ophelia if she gave Hamlet "any hard words" lately. Ophelia answered:

No, my good lord, but as you did command

I did repel his letters and denied

His access to me. (2.1.120-122)

When Claudius, Gertrude and Polonius discussed about Hamlet's apparent "madness," Polonius suggested that it was all because of Ophelia's rejection of his love. Polonius tried to prove Hamlet's love towards Ophelia through the letters he gave her:

I have a daughter have while she is mine

Who, in her duty and obedience, mark,

Hath given me this. Now gather and surmise.

[He reads] To the celestial, and my soul's idol, the

most beautified Ophelia - (2.2.114-118)

In her excellent white bosom, these, etc. - (2.2.121)

Doubt thou the stars are fire,

Doubt that the sun doth move,

Doubt truth to be a liar,

But never doubt I love.

O dear Ophelia, I am ill at these numbers. I have noy

Art to reckon my groans, but that I love thee best, O

Most best, believe it. Adieu.

Thine evermore, most dear lady, whilst

This machine is to him, Hamlet. (2.2.124-132)

After Claudius is somehow convinced, he and Polonius planned to spy on Hamlet and his actions while talking with Ophelia. Before Ophelia went on with the plan, Gertrude said:

Ophelia, I do wish

That your good beauties be the happy cause

Of Hamlet's wildness. So shall I hope your virtues

Will bring him to his wonted way again,

To both your honors. (3.1.42-47)

After Hamlet stated his famous "To be or not to be" soliloquy, he saw Ophelia and instantly greeted her:

Soft you now,

The fair Ophelia. - Nymph, in thy orisons

Be all my sins remembered. (3.1.96-98)

Ophelia then went straight to the point and returned all Hamlet's "remembrances" to her:

My lord, I have remembrances of yours

That I have longed to redeliver.

I pray you now receive them. (3.1.102-104)

Hamlet, pretending to be mad, refused these "remembrances" and said that he never gave them. Ophelia was shocked and confirmed that Hamlet really gave them to her before and insisted that he take those back:

My honored lord, you know right well you did,

And with them words of so sweet breath composed

As made the things more rich. Their perfume


Take these again, for to the noble mind

Rich gifts wax poor when givers prove unkind.

There, my lord. (3.1.106-112)

Hamlet stated that he did once love Ophelia. Then Ophelia answered:

Indeed, my lord, you made me believe so. (3.1.126)

Hamlet replied:

You should not have believed me, for virtue

Cannot so inoculate our old stock but we shall

Relish of it. I loved you not. (3.1.127-129)

Then Ophelia admitted that she was mislead because she believed that Hamlet did really loved her. Hamlet then insisted that Ophelia should go to a nunnery. After that, Hamlet asked Ophelia where her father is because he knew Polonius and Claudius were hiding somewhere to listen to their conversation. Before their conversation ended, Hamlet advised Ophelia:

If thou dost marry, I'll give thee this plague

For thy dowry: be thou as chaste as ice, as pure as

Snow, thou shalt not escape calumny. Get thee to a

Nunnery, farewell. Or if thou wilt needs marry,

Marry a fool, for wise men know well enough what

Monsters you make of them. To a nunnery, go, and

Quickly too. Farewell. (3.1.146-152)

In front of everyone, Hamlet announced rude and malevolent words towards Ophelia:

Here's metal more

Attractive. (3.2.116-117)

Lady, shall I lie in your lap? (3.2.119)

I mean, my head upon your lap? (3.2.121)

That's a fair thought to lie between maids'

Legs. (3.2.125-126)

After hearing about her father's death, Ophelia became mad. She sang and sang about her father. Despite her madness, Ophelia still sang of the tragedy of her love for Hamlet:

Quoth she "Before you tumbled me,

You promised me to wed." (4.5.67-68)

Ophelia, not long after her madness, died of drowning. And when Hamlet finally realized that it was Ophelia's body that was to be buried, he couldn't accept and believe it:

What, the fair Ophelia? (5.1.253)

While they were burying Ophelia, Laertes blamed and cursed Hamlet for being the cause of her sister's death. Hearing this, Hamlet fought with Laertes and ended up admitting his true feelings for Ophelia:

I loved Ophelia. Forty thousand brothers

Could not will all their quantity of love

Make up my sum. (5.1.285-287)

Between the two couples, Romeo and Juliet, and Hamlet and Ophelia, I believe that Romeo and Juliet's relationship, as a couple, was successful as compared to that of Hamlet and Ophelia's. We can see that despite great obstacles, Romeo and Juliet pursued their love for each other. Juliet was arranged to marry Paris, and her father already got angry with her for reasoning out that she did not want to marry him. And for this reason, Juliet did all she can to stop and avoid her marriage with Paris. She risked her life by drinking the potion Friar Lawrence gave her. Many things might go wrong if she drank the potion, but instead, she risked it and hoped for the best. The potion might really not work and even cause her death. Or it might work but she would just seem dead for a shorter period than what was expected. Or what really happened - Romeo did not get the word about the plan.

Another obstacle to their relationship was Romeo's banishment. Because of his banishment, Romeo could not go and see Juliet everyday. They only spent one night together after they were married. And the next time they were together again was their last.

And of course, their greatest obstacle was the conflict and enmity between their families, which made their relationship close to being impossible. I believe that Romeo and Juliet had much courage to express and pursue their love for each other as compared to Hamlet and Ophelia. Romeo and Juliet even got married despite the obstacles they were facing and were about to face.

As opposed to Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet and Ophelia were not brave enough to fight for their relationship. Laertes and Polonius both advised and ordered Ophelia to stay away and stop seeing Hamlet. And she did follow them without hesitation. Throughout the play, we can see

Hamlet's feelings toward Ophelia and Ophelia towards Hamlet. Hamlet's love towards Ophelia can be seen in the letters he gave her. And it can also be seen in the description Ophelia made about their relationship when her father was asking her. And Ophelia also did really love Hamlet. We can see this in her reactions to the many hurtful words Hamlet said to her. Maybe the reason why she didn't fight back was because she knew Hamlet would be cured from his being mad. She knew that these hurtful things Hamlet has been telling her was just because he was mad and he really did not mean it. And she was hoping that her love could cure him back to sanity. They did love each other but were too cowardly to show and fight their true feelings for each other. And before each died, they both regretted that they weren't able to show their love for each other. Hamlet professed his love for Ophelia while she was being buried while Ophelia regretted her love for Hamlet while she was singing when she was already "mad." Unlike Romeo and Juliet, until their last breaths, they wanted to be with each other and love each other until eternity, even if this meant their deaths.