The most important difference between Ophelia and Hamlet 's madness in Act 4 is the fact that Ophelia is, in fact, gone crazy, while Hamlet is merely continuing to put his "antic disposition on. This indicates that she is too weak-willed to have an identity of her own, which could indicate some type of mental illness or “madness.” Her father’s identity is her identity and this loss of identity propelled her further into madness. This incident drives Ophelia into becoming insane and leads to her taking her own life. To the mere observer the drama that unfolds between Hamlet and Ophelia may just look like the struggle an average couple might, Crazy as a Hamlet? during Ophelia’s short time of madness. Seeing a ghost could indicate that he is already mad. This is for all: I would not, in plain terms, from this time forth, have you slander any moment leisure, as to give words or talk with the Lord Hamlet. And I am made at your window to be your valentine. dispelling each argument and come to my own conclusion. Hamlet’s madness likely stems from an actual mental illness, most likely a depressive illness. Home Hamlet Q & A Act 3, Sc. Hamlet seems to know that Ophelia is helping her dad spy on him, and he accuses her (and all women) of being a "breeder of sinners" and orders Ophelia to a "nunnery" (3.1.131; 132), i.e. Come your ways. demands any freedom, nor questions Polonius' curt and misplaced, Ophelia - The Innocent Victim in Shakespeare's Hamlet   Ophelia's Descent to Madness in Shakespeare’s Hamlet Essay. Still, in the Elizabethan era, understanding of mental illness was rudimentary at best, as were the methods of treating it.    Poor Ophelia, she lost her lover, her father, her mind, and, posthumously, her brother. Web. Ophelia is used by two men in the play – her father and Hamlet – as a pawn for them to enact their deceptions. Madness in Hamlet The theme of madness in Hamlet has been a widely popular topic in the discussion of the play by both critics and readers alike. Or, perhaps, was Ophelia’s death an accident, or a murder? As one of only two women in the play, it is perhaps surprising that While these deaths both sparked madness in these characters, they each dealt with their madness in different ways. She holds a B.A. Laertes’s expectation for her to be chaste, as well as Hamlet’s rejection further propel Ophelia into a state of madness fueled by sexual frustration. For the Elizabethans, Hamlet was the prototype of melancholy male madness, associated with intellectual and imaginative genius; but Ophelia’s affliction was erotomania, or love-madness. The madness displayed by each of these characters is driven, in part, by the deaths of their fathers, however they each portray madness in different ways even though their madness is driven by similar origins. Tomorrow is Saint Valentine's Day. However, after Hamlet’s father’s death, he develops trust issues and resentment especially towards women after his mother’s haste… Madness is a theme evident throughout the entire text. Hamlet fools Ophelia into believing that he is mad by killing Polonium behind a curtain in the Gertrude's room. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1984. eBook Collection (EBSCOhost). From the beginning of the play, in Act I Scene iii, Laertes and Polonius are trying to convince her that Hamlet does not love her and only is interested in her so he can sleep with her. For Hamlet and Ophelia, their madness similarly reveals their helplessness toward paternal manipulation and intimidation. Ophelia’s madness is driven by the loss of the male influences in her life. Hamlet is obviously experiencing grief and despair right from the beginning of Throughout the play, Ophelia first obeyed her father and brother’s wishes, ignored the social norms later, and then went mad, which caused her to never gain her own identity. There was an order most did not interfere with; however, some did. Project Gutenberg, Nov. 1998. Laertes, The literary language of madness drawn from Classical drama came to the English stage through Old French and the literature of fools. Hamlet’s madness is fueled by his father’s death and his desire to seek revenge on the man who killed him. Hamlet spends much of his time pretending to be mad, that he starts to believe that he really is insane. Chapman, Alison A. the novel, with the death of his father and his, Ophelia's Descent to Madness in Shakespeare’s Hamlet Essay, People have mostly seen women inferior to men because women have been thought of as simple-minded and could not take care of themselves. Ihe next shock to the tender sensibilities of Ophelia is the get-thee-to-a-nunnery scene. student of advanced-level English Literature, I doubt I can add anything new to It is through those scenes of madness that we get to know the real Ophelia, and it is through those scenes that we get to know the opinion of Hamlet and what he thinks of the king, the courtiers and Polonius. While the death of Hamlet’s father made him angry enough to want revenge, Ophelia internalized the death of her father as a loss of personal identity. But she can't call him out on his language, because, as a good girl, she can't admit that she knows what it means. "Hamlet." OPH. As stated by Brown, because of Ophelia’s lack of a distinct identity, her “identity disappears along with the disappearance of male dominance.” As a result of her madness, she is unable to recognize herself as an independent person without these dominant male figures (Brown). This becomes a very famous scene in the play because Hamlet denies that he ever loved Ophelia, thus causing her mental stability to begin to waver. Polonius. I did a 20 page paper, cited and reference with both currant DSM standards as well as utilizing the play for quotes. Web. In the 1500s, women were supposed to conform to men’s wishes. the debate in 2000 words, but I can look at the evidence supporting or . After the tragic death of her father, Polonius, who was killed by Hamlet, Ophelia is devastated. Hamlet genuinely loved her before his father’s death, and this is shown by the love letters they have from before. Are you looking for more information about Hamlet? This madness, in the end, led Ophelia to commit suicide as she had nothing to live for without the men in her life who bestowed her sense of identity upon her. While innocent characters like Rosencrantz and Guildenstern believe their duty is to simply diagnose the reason for Hamlet’s madness, Claudius uses their care for Hamlet and blind loyalty to plot Hamlet’s death. Ophelia develops a different variation of madness created by her love and hate towards everyone in her life, which she develops after the death of her father. Early in the play Ophelia says to her father, Polonius, “I do not know, my lord, what I should think” (Shakespeare). However, Laertes is often credited with being Hamlet's superior in his instant and decisive reaction to his father's death, even though the circumstances of Polonius' death were entirely different from those of Hamlet… Her choice of songs seems to reveal two obsessions. ” we see Hamlet as observed by her before he changed. Medieval & Renaissance Drama In England 20. What interests me more though are Hamlet’s and Ophelia’s varying degrees of madness. Ophelia's character is presented as being so very unsubstantial and Ophelia’s madness stems from her lack of identity and her feelings of helplessness regarding her own life. The Renaissance Hamlet : Issues And Responses In 1600. Conclusion. Academic Search Complete. Paired with Hamlet’s apparent madness, he easily sways them into doing his bidding by feeding them incorrect information, thus influencing their decisions and actions. In particular, Ophelia fails to express any points of view While I agree with your method, I don’t agree with your outcome. Ophelia does as she is told: POL. In the middle of all the drama that seems to be flooding Hamlet’s life and Denmark, the audience is presented with a tragic love story, and of course I’m talking about the forbidden love of Hamlet and Ophelia. Hamlet had a chance to kill Claudius early in the play while Claudius was praying, but decided that, if he were killed while praying, that Claudius’s soul would go to Heaven. In the beginning of the play, Ophelia was like any other obedient young woman during the time. Ophelia is the only truly innocent victim in Hamlet. Laertes’s expectation for her to be chaste, as well as Hamlet’s rejection further propel Ophelia into a state of madness fueled by sexual frustration. He is unable to cope with his perceived responsibility to his father and is driven further into a state of depression (Shaw). At the beginning of the play, Hamlet is visited by the ghost of his father. Ophelia here is viewed as all other Nevertheless there is a mystery about her mental condition. by Coke Smyth. In her sad reaction to Hamlet’s madness “O what a noble mind is here o’erthrown! —We are oft to blame in this, 'tis too much proved, that with devotion’s visage and pious action we do sugar o … The longer Hamlet waits to exact his revenge, the further he descends into madness and melancholy. While there is, Shakespeare's “Hamlet” explores many literary devices and themes, and it’s plotted around revenge, the fight for political power and Hamlet’s descent into madness. His father’s ghost tells him that he was murdered by Claudius, which drives Hamlet to want to seek revenge. According to Brown, “The context of her disease, like that of hysteria later, is sexual frustration, social helplessness, and enforced control over women's bodies.” 2, lines 100-123: Describe Hamlet's "madness" with Polonius and explain how and why it changes when he is with Ophelia. . Check out the below videos to help you to better understand the play. Shakespeare’s Hamlet shows how men treated and thought of women during the 1500s. OPHELIA: Pray let's have no words of this, but when they ask you what it means, say you this. Due to the many warnings from her father Polonius and her brother Laertes, she succumbs to her father’s wishes and plays the role of a good daughter, thus betraying Hamlet. While Hamlet feels the need to avenge his father’s death, he also worries that the ghost may actually “be a devil who will betray his soul,” rather than the actual ghost of his father (Frye, 12). Ophelia in the fourth act of Hamlet is demonstrably insane, but the direct cause of her slipped sanity is something that remains debatable. In the play Hamlet, Shakespeare uses the motif of water to symbolize madness and the unknown in the characters Hamlet and Ophelia. Hamlet and Ophelia by Dante Gabriel Rossetti, 1866. Throughout the play, Hamlet displays pessimistic thoughts and negativity. According to Alison A. Chapman, Ophelia’s “ravings display a complex awareness of England's medieval Catholic past.” As she descends into grief after losing the men in her life, she begins to make many “allusions to medieval Catholic forms of piety: St. James, St. Charity, ‘old lauds,’ pilgrimage to the shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham, and other pre-Reformation religious folklore (Chapman).” Religious ideas regarding the role of women may have contributed to Ophelia’s reliance on her father and other men for her sense of self. It is clear that Ophelia is grieving over the death of her father, Polonius, when Horatio says “She speaks much of her father, says she hears…” (Shakespeare IV 4-5), but a secondary cause of Ophelia’s madness may be due to her failed relationship with Hamlet as well. 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