Hamlet Love for Ophelia
Hamlets Love For Ophelia Although the play Hamlet was written nearly 450 years ago by William Shakespeare, scholars still pose the question, “Did Hamlet really love Ophelia? ” I believe Hamlet had feelings for Ophelia, but he never demonstrated true love for her. Several times in the play Hamlet denies his love for Ophelia. If he truly loved her, he would not want to hurt her. When Hamlet accidently killed Polonius, he did not try to console Ophelia. If he truly loved her, he would have been at her side to provide comfort in her time of grief.
Even at Ophelia’s funeral, he did not profess his love for Ophelia. If he truly loved her, he would have proclaimed his love for her to those present at the funeral. Hamlet’s actions prove that he didn’t have true love for Ophelia. The first time Hamlet denies his love for Ophelia is in Act III Scene I. Hamlet declares “I did love you once” after Ophelia has broken up with him. Ophelia replies “Indeed my lord you made me believe so. ” Hamlet then pronounces, “You should not have believed me. ” This demonstrates that Hamlet really did not love Ophelia.
He continues on to express his lack of feelings for her, “I give you this plague of dowry; be thou chaste as ice, as pure as snow, thou shall not escape calumny. ” He tells her to go away or he will destroy her good name. Although he might just be spewing words of bitterness because Ophelia has ended their relationship, if he really cared for her he would not want to slander her reputation. His lack concern for her virtuous character supports the argument that he does not truly love Ophelia.
In Act III Scene IV Hamlet accidently slays Polonius. After doing so he feels no remorse and announces, “Thou wretched, rash, intruding fool, farewell. I took thee for thy better. ” He believes Polonius got what he deserved. His lack of remorse for killing Ophelia’s father show he is not concerned with her feelings. Rather than feeling saddened by this unfortunate event, Hamlet takes delight in the fact that he has killed an eavesdropper who should not have been in the room listening to a private conversation.
Not only is he pleased with the fact he has killed Polonius, but he also hides the body so there can be no proper burial for Polonius. If he truly loved Ophelia, he would want to express sorrow for her loss and support her through her grief. The death of Ophelia’s father causes her to go mad and she never recovers from the loss. Ultimately, she drowns in the brook, possibly committing suicide. Hamlet never goes to Ophelia to comfort her even though her actions indicate she is loosing her sanity.
He leaves for England, at the urging of Claudius, rather than stay in Denmark where he could have monitored the health of Ophelia. If Hamlet truly loved Ophelia, he would have been there for her in her time of need. In the final act Hamlet is at the graveyard when he learns of Ophelia’s death. He is speaking with a gravedigger when Claudius enters with Gertrude, Laertes, a priest, mourners and a coffin. Hamlet hears Laertes voice and realizes he is speaking of Ophelia and it is her funeral. Hamlet enters the scene and jumps into Ophelia’s grave.
Laertes proclaims’ “The devil take thy soul,” and he grapples with Hamlet. It is at this point Hamlet declares his love for Ophelia. “I loved Ophelia. Forty thousand brothers could not with all their quantity of love make up my sum. What wilt thou do for her? ” Hamlet only expresses his love for Ophelia after fighting with Laertes. He is trying to out do Laertes with his show of emotion. Even his mother is not convinced of his true love. She states, “This is mere madness. ” In other words she is saying this too shall pass.
Hamlet will get over Ophelia’s death. If he truly loved Ophelia, he would have grieved longer over her death. His display of emotion at the graveyard was only in response to the grief of Laertes and not a true love for Ophelia. If Hamlet had truly loved Ophelia, his actions would have demonstrated his true feelings. Instead he only professed his love for Ophelia when it was convenient for him. He used her for his gains and did not really show compassion for her. Even in her death he did not express genuine love for her.