Did Hamlet Really Love Ophelia?

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Hamlet’s Love For Ophelia Shakespeare’s Hamlet strikes many literary chords and themes. It primarily chronicles a quest for revenge, political intrigue and a slow descent into madness. But underneath all the drama, hatred and back-stabbing plots, the text describes a love story between Hamlet the protagonist and Prince of Denmark, and Ophelia a member of the court. The love however is a complicated one, and there are several moments within the story where it’s unclear whether Hamlet has true romantic feelings for Ophelia, the daughter of Polonius. But he does. While Hamlet slowly is driven mad by visits from the ghost of his father and the scheming plots of his uncle Claudius, the one thing that actually keeps Hamlet focused and centered are his feelings for Ophelia. Hamlet’s seemingly unreasonable actions and questionable motives toward her are all part of a ruse to fool everybody at court and actually protect her from being used as leverage by the murderous King Claudius. There are several moments where Hamlet professes his love for Ophelia in moments where he didn’t have to, which in my opinion point to where his heart really lies. Let’s explore the moments within the text where Hamlet actually used his smarts to trick the other conniving characters into thinking that he didn’t love Ophelia and was going insane instead. Throughout Act 3 and 4, the play leads readers to believe the Hamlet does not love Ophelia. He is constantly saying contradicting statements and in a way mistreating her. Hamlet says “I loved you once,” and then four lines later he says “I loved you not.” What’s going on with the mixed messages? Well Polonius, Ophelia’s father does not approve of their courtship and Hamlet know this. He could be seemingly hurtful saying things like "I say we will have no moe marriage,” and "or if thou wilt marry, marry a fool, for wise men know well enough

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