In Shakespeare’s play Hamlet, the concept of love for Ophelia is often difficult to understand. Hamlet has deep and troubling emotions including betrayal, madness and love. Does he truly love Ophelia? Did he stop loving her? Did he ever love her? From the play there is a vast amount of evidence directing toward the conclusion that Hamlet always loved Ophelia, but just the same there are also some points where Hamlet rejects Ophelia cruelly. His reasons though can be backed up as a way to protect her from his mission of avenging the murder of his father, the late king of Denmark.
The status of the relationship between Hamlet and Ophelia is introduced through conversation between Polonius and Ophelia. “He hath, my lord, of late made tenders of his affection to me.”(Act1, Scene 3 line 100) Both Hamlet and Ophelia have been courting and he has shared his affections for her immensely. “My lord, He hath imported me with love in honorable fashion.” (Act1, Scene 3 line 110) The manner Ophelia responds about Hamlet indicates that she trusts him and shares the same feelings. Ophelia was trying to convince her father about how Hamlet displays his affections are true and honest. Polonius though does not want her to be at risk of being ruined, he forbids her to have any encounter with him.
These sources prove that Hamlet does love Ophelia and recently was deeply engaged in their relationship. Correspondingly as Hamlet becomes engrossed in his mission of vengeance, he is revealed blind; as he drives a wedge between the once raging affections for Ophelia.
Following this further, take a look at a quote recited by hamlet to Ophelia. “Ay, truly; for the power of beauty will sooner transform honesty from what it is to a bawd than the force of honesty can translate beauty into his likeness: this was sometime a paradox, but now the time gives it proof. I did love you once.” (Act 3, Scene 1 line 110-113)This demonstrates how much has changed in Hamlets views of Ophelia. She is no more the woman he courted but now looked upon as a representative of the female sex of which his deceitful mother is also a part of.
“…I loved you not…” (Act 3, Scene 1 line 116) Hamlet repeats to Ophelia after she states how he led her to believe in the love he had previously showed her. He outright denies any love for her saying it was all false; no one can be truly virtuous no matter how hard the try. He concludes his conversation reciting that he and all sinners should not have been born. “Get to thee nunnery” (Act 3, scene 1 line 118) At this point Hamlet has been pushing Ophelia away and told her to not get married, not to bear children and just flee to the...