Madness is one of the most pervasive themes in Shakespeare’s 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. It is my conclusion that Hamlet uses a façade of insanity to hide his attempts to kill Claudius and, In the play, Hamlet, by William Shakespeare, Ophelia, the daughter of Polonius, is seen as a fair maiden who wants her love with Hamlet to be eternal. Look to't, I charge you. Ophelia’s madness stems from her lack of identity and her feelings of helplessness regarding her own life. "Gender and Identity in Hamlet: A Modern Interpretation of Ophelia." 20 May 2016. by Coke Smyth. In this monologue, Hamlet seems to be having an existential crisis as he contemplates the meaning of life and death and whether or not he would be better off to take his own life. Hamlet suffers from Borderline Personality disorder, as there are three places where he “plays“ mad to great affect. "Ophelia's "Old Lauds": Madness And Hagiography In Hamlet." Hamlet decided that a better revenge would be to wait until some other time to kill him to prevent his soul from going to Heaven. Previously in the play where Hamlet gives his soliloquy on life and death, Ophelia has been ordered to break off her relationship with Hamlet while Polonius eavesdrops to prove, characters’ affection for Hamlet. His madness and melancholy has driven him to the point wanting to commit suicide. 2, lines 100-123: Describe Hamlet's "madness" with Polonius and explain how and why it changes when he is with Ophelia. 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? The death of his father only worsened a preexisting condition. Shaw, A. Hamlet manages to confuse Ophelia, Claudius and Polonius with his madness acts. To read madness sanely is to miss the point; to read madness madly is to have one's point be missed. This incident drives Ophelia into becoming insane and leads to her taking her own life. 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. 11 December 2015 The Madness of Hamlet and Ophelia Psychotic behavior is prevalent in Shakespeare’s Hamlet as two of his characters, Hamlet and Ophelia, exhibit madness during the play. However, he is very mad, … —Hamlet 4.5.7–9. After the tragic death of her father, Polonius, who was killed by Hamlet, Ophelia is devastated. Madness is one of the main themes of Hamlet. Ophelia is the only truly innocent victim in Hamlet. Project Gutenberg. The defective effect of Ophelia's madness to come has the same cause; Polonius' prescripts have their effect on Ophelia too. Shakespeare’s Hamlet shows how men treated and thought of women during the 1500s. Prior to this moment, Ophelia is taken aside by King Claudius and her father, Polonius. 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. This causes him to display erratic behavior, indicating that he has become mad with his desire to avenge his father’s death. His father’s ghost tells him that he was murdered by Claudius, which drives Hamlet to want to seek revenge. Her withdrawal provokes an intense, misogynistic reaction from Hamlet, and ultimately Ophelia goes mad and dies tragically without the misunderstanding coming to light. 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