Essay on Ophelia's Character in Hamlet: a Grave Repercussion

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A Grave Repercussion Emotions can be fatal when left to fester. Often, people’s feelings can cause their rationality to decay and drive them towards abnormal behavior. In Shakespeare's Hamlet, Ophelia snaps under the heartache of her fathers’ death, forcing her into madness. Eventually, her anguish throws her into a grave with which she cannot escape. The grief she suffers is what leads to her derangement, and in turn, her own death. Ophelia’s despair causes her to be distraught and even suffer from paranoia. She seems to be extremely absentminded as a result of her father (Polonius’) death, and acts oddly peculiar. She speaks of “tricks i’th’ world”, which reflects how she may be paranoid as the effect of her grief. Others are worried for her and feel as though “Her mood will needs be pitied”. But what they don’t realize, is, that this deep pit of emotions will eventually overrule her desire to live. Furthermore, when Gertrude asks her “How now”, she sings. Her response is disturbing and abnormal. In the right state of mind, one would not sing in response to a simple question. The result of her grief is, in fact, her unorthodox behavior. The strong, depressed, emotions of Ophelia led to the loss of sanity behind her anguish. In a way, Ophelia admitted her loss of rationality: For “We know what we are, but know not what we may be.” Her words import the idea that she once knew who she was, but doesn’t know what she has become. This realization of her predicament shows that she is holding on by a thread to who she once was. Despite that, her bizarre singing and irrelevant responses show that she is not her present self; she is distracted - buried beneath her sadness. Many attempt to guide her back to sanity. For if they don’t try and talk to her, “she may strew”. However, their efforts are no match for the power of her emotion. Initially, when Ophelia sings,

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