Ophelia : Witch Or Victim? Essay, Research Paper
In my opinion I would say that Ophelia is just an innocent victim instead of being a heartless witch. I believe this to be true because I believe she is just an innocent victim because she is being forced to act in a matter in which she does not want to act. First her father forces to ignore Hamlet at all cause and to reject his letters. but as you did command, I did repel his letters and denied his access to me (II. iii. 108-110) this proves that she did as her father told her to do even though she didn t want to do it. Another reason for my belief is that her loved ones and others are manipulating her. These people who are doing this is her brother, Laertes, and her father Polonius. The way her brother is manipulating her is by giving her somewhat false information about Hamlet, which give Ophelia to give second thoughts about Hamlet.
An example of this is in Act I, Scene 3 where Laertes says, Fear it, Ophelia, fear it, my dear sister, and keep you in the rear of your affection out of the shot and danger of desire. (I. iii. 33-35) Laertes seems to care about his sister and doesn t want her to get hurt but in reality back then in their time, Laertes does not care much about his sister but instead care about his father and himself because in Shakespeare s time, a father s son-in-law doesn t give much money to his father if his wife is not a virgin. So it seems that Laertes is just looking out for his father and himself.
Ophelia s father, on the other hand, is different. He does care about his daughter but is very cautious about her actions with Hamlet. He even goes so far as to force her daughter not to be in any contact with Hamlet. He tells her I would not give words or talk with the Lord Hamlet. (I. iii. 132-134)
This means not to talk to Hamlet and not to write him any letters. Because of this, Ophelia is forced to have no contacts with Hamlet witch, for sure, will break a loving couple s love. This must be devastating for Ophelia because she is basically forbidden to see the one who she loves dearly. This is, to me, a good example because it shows how Ophelia is being manipulated by her father into believing that Hamlet is bad for her even though her father shouldn t really be the one who controls her actions. Also the mere fact that Polonius orders Ophelia to give him the letters Hamlet wrote to Ophelia shows how inconsiderate of other people s feelings and personal business he is. This would have left her in a not particularly strong psychological state and unable to cope without the control and dominance of her ‘betters’, betters as in Polonius, Laertes, and Hamlet. Also when Ophelia comes to tells her father that Hamlet came to her room all weird and delusional, it seemed that Polonius not only wanted to help his daughter but it seemed the he also would of liked to get on the kings good side by helping them find out what is going on with Hamlet. You can say that he wanted to kill two birds with one stone .
Later on in Act 3, you can find another example of how Ophelia is just being used by the people around her just so they can get what they want and not even considering how this will effect Ophelia. In scene 1 of Act 3, Polonius and the King place Ophelia in a room where Hamlet can find her so that they can observe if Hamlet is mad only about what s happening with Ophelia and himself. But what ends up happening is Hamlet, with all of his anger, breaks off their relationship very furiously, leaving Ophelia hurt and scared with Hamlets action. This is an example of Ophelia being an innocent victim because was just used like an object for other people s pleasure.
In conclusion, I would like say once again that Ophelia is not a heartless witch but she is just an innocent victim . This is evident because of all events that have happened to her up to where we are. It can be either Ophelia s father Polonius forcing her not to have any contact with Hamlet, which could have caused Ophelia to become miserable and depressed, which would of made her not responsible for her actions. Or it could be the fact that she was used as a decoy to find out what was wrong with Hamlet, and in that scene she was rejected and became even more depressed.