Many people have read Hamlet, and may or may not have been confused about two specific character’s affection for one another. Many questions are asked as to whether or not Hamlet truly loves Ophelia. Not only do people wonder if he ever loved her, but they wonder what has caused Hamlet’s actions towards her. Another question that was raised was whether or not Hamlet was responsible for Ophelia’s suicide. William Shakespeare does a great job at hiding Hamlet’s love for Ophelia, but there is evidence that shows how he truly does love her.
Within the first act of the play, Ophelia and her father, Polonius, talk about Hamlet and Ophelia’s alone time together. Ophelia tells Polonius how Hamlet has been a gentleman. Polonius goes on to say how passion will drive boys to tell girls anything to have sex with them. After, Polonius tells Ophelia she may no longer see Hamlet, and Ophelia agrees to obey her father. In the second act of the play, Ophelia comes to her father frightened because of Hamlet’s actions towards her. Ophelia says
“My lord, as I was sewing in my closet,
Lord Hamlet, with his doublet all unbraced,
No hat upon his head, his stockings fouled,
Ungartered, and down-gyved to his ankle;
Pale as his shirt, his knees knocking each other,
And with a look so piteous in purport
As if he had been loosed out of hell
To speak of horrors, he comes before me” (2.1.87-94).
In modern day English, this means that Hamlet came into Ophelia’s bedroom with his clothes messed up, no hat on, his socks were hanging low, and his knees were knocking. Ophelia also said, Lord Hamlet had a look on his face as if he was let out of hell. Hamlet’s actions leave Ophelia wondering what caused him to act this way. Once Polonius heard of Lord Hamlet’s actions, he decided the king must know at once that Hamlet is madly in love with Ophelia. Polonius and King Claudius plan to use Ophelia to see if Hamlet truly is crazy about Ophelia. Once Hamlet notices Ophelia, he seems kind and peaceful. Ophelia tries to give Hamlet his love letters and trinkets, but he refuses to take them. Hamlet comes off as surprised, and goes on to say, “Are you fair” (3.1.114). In other words, Hamlet means, is this really what you want? Hamlet then goes on to say,
“…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” (3.1.120-124).
Hamlet is very upset over Ophelia trying to give back his belongings. After, Ophelia said, “Indeed, my lord, you made me believe so” (3.1.125). Hamlet says, “You should not have believed me; for virtue cannot/ so inoculate our old stock but we shall relish of it. I/ loved you not” (3.1.126-128). These lines indicate how Hamlet is upset with Ophelia, so Hamlet says how he never loved her. In Act V, Hamlet is in the courtyard,...