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Love in Hamlet

In Hamlet it is interesting to note the change in the character of Ophelia while Hamlet 's character becomes more obsessed with his father 's killer . Ophelia is a character in the play for whom her identity hinges upon Hamlet 's own mood swings and persuasions . In the course of spying on Hamlet for Claudius , Polonius discovers a love letter between Hamlet and Ophelia . In this letter Polonius suggests to Claudius that the cause of Hamlet 's despondency

is love-sickness as Polonius states Madam , I swear I use no art at all /That he is mad 'tis true 'tis true 'tis pity /And pity 'tis true : a foolish figure /But farewell it for I will use no art /Mad let us grant him , then : and now remains /That we find out the cause of this effect /Or rather say , the cause of this defect /For this effect defective comes by cause /Thus it remains , and the remainder thus /Pretend . I have a daughter--have while she is mine-- /Who , in her duty and obedience , mark /Hath given me this : now gather , and surmise . After reading this letter to Claudius , both he and Polonius hatch a plan to eavesdrop the lover 's rendezvous . This further confounds the theory of Hamlet 's insanity being caused by love because the dialogue between Hamlet and Ophelia is anything but love drenched

Thus in the play love for Hamlet is an excuse while love for Ophelia is way of identity . She is unable to find herself without Hamlet and as such she drowns herself . Due to love and the loss of love the resembles Shakespeare wishes to give the audience is that of loss of innocence When the lovers are presented with a real life situation in dealing with Hamlet 's obsessive personality and his actions towards finding out his father 's murderer the attention that Hamlet once doted upon Ophelia no longer exists as thus , love is left unrequited . The theme of unrequited love is paramount in Shakespeare 's plays . Since Ophelia could not be consummated in marriage she is consumed by the river . This reflects that she had to be loved in to live

Work Cited

Shakespeare , William . Hamlet . Eds . Barbara A . Mowat and Paul Werstein Folger

Shakespeare Library , New York . 1992 PAGE

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