Analysis of Hamlet

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Analysis of Hamlet, by William Shakespeare: Act III, Scene I, Lines 105-135 In this scene from William Shakespeare's Hamlet, we witness a conversation between Hamlet and Ophelia. The context of this dialog contributes to the development of both characters, as well as the nature of Hamlet's disturbingly turbulent emotions. We also gain insight into the overall themes of lust, deceit, and human corruption, which are present throughout the play. Line 105 begins with Hamlet questioning Ophelia's honesty as he asks her, "Are you fair”(1351)? To this point in the play nothing in Hamlet and Ophelia's relationship has warranted this kind of an angry accusation from Hamlet. Ophelia is saddened and dismayed by her lover's hurtful words and she does not completely understand why Hamlet chooses to be so cruel to her. She does understand, however, that Hamlet is angry and hurt over the death of his father. She believes that Hamlet is so tortured by this that it has brought him to the brink of insanity. For these reasons Ophelia is sympathetic to Hamlet, even as he lashes out at her, "O, help him, you sweet heavens” (1351)! Hamlet is projecting his anger at his mother, Gertrude, on to Ophelia. Because of his intense love for her, Hamlet believes that she will almost certainly betray him just as his mother betrayed his father. Hamlet's love for his mother makes her deceit that much more painful to him. Ophelia symbolizes what Hamlet once believed his mother to be. He therefore concludes that Ophelia is no better than her, and has convinced himself that the same must be true of all women. In that sense Ophelia symbolizes not only his own mother, but all of womankind, "If thou dost marry, I'll give thee this plague for thy dowry,- be thou chaste as ice, as pure as snow, thou shalt not escape calumny. Get thee to a nunnery, go:

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