Why Does Ophelia Go Mad? Does Hamlet Have Any Responsibility for This Madness and Her Death?

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Why does Ophelia go mad? Does Hamlet have any responsibility for this madness and her death? The following passages from William Shakespeare's Hamlet, explain why Ophelia has gone mad. According to Laertes, "There's nothing more than matter," therefore he believes that even though his sister was mad, she was saying more than just blurting out random thoughts. Intermingled within her thoughts that seem to mean nothing, she expresses her grief as well as dropping subtle hints that Hamlet is the reason why she has gone insane. Ophelia has a difficult time dealing with her father's death, and ultimately ends up going mad because she can't cope with it. Unlike Laertes, Hamlet, and Fortinbras who have the option to revenge their fathers' death, Ophelia, cannot take revenge on Hamlet, because in the time period the play was written, it was improper for women to do so. Ophelia was completely devastated over her father's death, "He is dead, Gone to thy deathbed, He will never come again." When she is introduced as being mad in the play in Act IV, scene 5, she makes many references to her father's death through a song she sings. Ophelia realizes "He is gone," and that when she has a problem she will no longer be able to run to her father as she does in Acts I and II. She feels as though she can't go on without her father because she is such a weak character. It is clear that one of the reasons why she goes insane is because her father has been murdered. Ophelia's madness can also be attributed to the fact that she trusts Hamlet and falls in love with him, only to have that love unreturned. She believes early on that " he hath importuned [her] with love, in honorable fashion," and that his love is not out of madness. However, later in Act III, she realizes that his love may have been due to

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