Hamlet 22 Essay, Research Paper
Ophelia lived and died with a set of self made chains on her hands and feet , only breaking free upon her death. Ophelia, a subserviant fragile character sought approval from those around her, even to the point of sacrificing her own desires. Similiarly, Gertrude a shallow character in the play ” Hamlet” by Shakespeare, found herself feeling desperate and seeking approval in others. Both characters lives’ were dominated by men rather than they themselves choosing their paths, and were portrayed as rather weak, fragile and dependent of others. Gertrude, suffered the crisis of losing her husband the king. Acting accordingly to her nature as a dependent women lost without the support and love of a man, remarried after only 2 months. This marriage was considered taboo for two reasons. Not only did she marry so soon but it was her dead husband’s brother Claudius. This incestuous union outraged her beloved son, Hamlet. Although Hamlet confronted her, insulting her and degrating her behavior. she just shrugged off what he was saying. She was so submissive she did not defend herself . Gertrude did not react much to anything. An instance of this was at one point, the king suggested ((())) This proves that she would even be willing to send her son away to please someone. She was so weak and unable to stand up for herself, for the reason of keeping others complacent. Gertrude had no sense of self. She seemed almost lost at times. She had been trying to find herself but she never really did.One may view her as lost because she just didn’t seem to be aware of what was going on. One might say that she was aware but did not confront the situation. It is suprising to the reader that she is oblivious of the murder plot of her husband, unaware of her son’s feelings to the marriage and the incentuous nature of it. She doesn’t question anything. She just accepts what is and lives with it. She had a weak mind and weak courage. She became even frailer after the death of her husband. In her weak and vulnerable state she prolonged her life untill she unknowingly drank from a poisoned cup. Persistent to her rather tragic life she died a tragic death. Although Gertrude seemed a rather dependent and weak character, Ophelia may be viewed as an equally tragic or possibly more tragic character. Ophelia, similiar to many women of those times was obediant and docile. Never questioning the authority of her father, Polonius, a man of respect and nobility, she gave up her one true love. She felt a strong need to make her father proud of her in order to feel satisfied with herself. Hamlet, her lover was not approved of by Polonius and he made it his goal to prevent the two from being together. He said she could have no future with Hamlet, and instead of finding out for herself she listened to her father, and soon distanced herself. Shortly after Ophelia noticed a change for the worse in Hamlet, and blamed herself. That intensified her feelings of despair. In her frail state of mind she was not prepared to hear what Hamlet planned to say or actually yell at her about. This outbreak of emotion shattered Ophelia’s heart in two. He stated that he never loved her and that she was a fool to believe this. He was the one person she could convide in and vice versa and without each other they felt had trouble dealing with the events about to come. Opelia stood meekly as Hamlet scoulded her distraught and confused being. She did not retaliate with marks of equal kindness, yet bottled it up inside her. At this point she was feeling empty , weak , lonely and depressed and needed her father more than anything. To her horror news spread quickly of her father’s death. Lost in a world by herself, she failed at pleasing her father who put her down often, and discovered her love was one sided. Both men in her life prevented her from being who she wanted to be and put her down often. She did not choose her path in life, nor choose her own dreams to follow. She did give her heart but seemed to get nothing in return, and feeling empty and hopeless, and possibly even mad, she committed suicide.