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Ophelia And Polonius Essay

Significance/ Role

  • Noblewomen of Denmark
  • Daughter of Polonius
  • Sister of Laertes
  • Hamlet’s love

Character Traits and General Facts

  • Ophelia demonstrates purity, the innocence and virtue of women
  • She is childlike and naïve in nature
  • She is unaware of the harsh realities of life
  • Although she truly loves Hamlet, she is very loyal and obedient to her brother and father and avoids Hamlet upon their orders
    • “No, my good lord, but, as you did command, I did repel his letters, and denied access to me” (II.2.107-109).
    • She defends Hamlet and loves him, despite his brutality
    • She is incapable of defending herself, and through her timid responses, it is evident that she is suffering inside
      • “I do not know, my lord, what I should think” (I. 3. 104).
      • This quote describes how Polonius easily manipulates Ophelia and it is evident that Polonius brings his daughter up under his control
      • She is unable to cope with the unfolding of one traumatic event after another and as a result she becomes insane after hearing about her father’s death and eventually drowns

Her Relationship in Accordance With Other Characters

  • Through Ophelia, we witness Hamlet’s evolution and de-evolution into a man that has a firm belief that all women are ignorant and deceitful
    • “I have heard of your paintings well enough; God hath given you one face, and you make yourselves another: you jig, you amble, and you lisp, you nickname God’s creatures, and make your wantonness your ignorance” (III. 1. 144-148).
    • Polonius makes arrangements to use the alluring Ophelia to discover why Hamlet is acting mad
      • “Ophelia, walk you here. Gracious, so please you, we will bestow ourselves. Read on this book, that show of such an exercise may colour your loneliness” (III. 1. 43-46).
      • Hamlet causes all her emotional pain throughout the play
      • Laertes and Polonius both warn Ophelia about Hamlet and forbid her to come near his presence as they think he is just using her for his sexual pleasure
        • Laertes and Polonius are both so ignorant of Ophelia’s true feelings towards Hamlet

Ophelia And Polonius Essay

Ophelia and Polonius

    In this essay I will attempt to compare and contrast the relationship of Ophelia and Polonius in Shakespeare's play Hamlet, with the relationship my father and I have. I will analyze the similarities and differences between their relationship and ours to show how even though the play takes place in a much different time period, we still have things in common. First, I will characterize the relationship I have with my father. Next, I plan to define the relationship Ophelia has with her father Polonius in the story of Hamlet. Finally, I will discuss how the two relationships relate to one another.

Since I was young my father and I have had a fairly close relationship. As I have grown up he has continuously instilled important values in my life and continues to nurture my environment and support a productive lifestyle. In my teenage years we have however somewhat grown apart. We still talk but it has become harder to see eye to eye on more and more issues. The way our relationship goes is as follows. There will be a disagreement, we argue and he wins simply because he is the parent. This in turn causes us to talk less and less because I don't want to start an argument. In Shakespeare's Hamlet a quote that relates the relationship between my father and I is when Polonius says to Ophelia "Affection! pooh! you speak like a green girl, Unsifted in such perilous circumstance. Do you believe his tenders, as you call them?"(I, iii, 101-105) This shows how we have a tendency to disagree and in my fathers eyes I'm a still a little girl who he needs to protect.

Throughout the Hamlet story thus far it has been clear that Polonius does not agree with the way his daughter wants to live her life. Polonius says to his daughter, "Have...

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