The Causes of Ophelia's Breakdown
The play Hamlet is known for its eccentric plot and warped sense of reality as well as its fanatical characters. Hamlet himself created all the drama in the play with his pretend “madness” and his emotional outbursts, which lead to the destruction of almost all of the characters in the play. The most notable self destruction came from Ophelia, Hamlet’s object of affection. During the play, Ophelia had undergone a lot of stress which lead her character to metamorphous.
At the beginning of the play, Laertes spoke to his sweet, loving sister Ophelia about his departure of Denmark to go to England and also his concerns of she and Hamlet’s relationship. He warned her of what he thought Hamlet's true intentions were.
“If with too credent ear you list his songs Or lose your heart or your chaste treasure open To his unmastered opportunity.
Fear it, Ophelia; my dear sister.“ (I.iii.34-37)
He believed that Hamlet was only with her out of lust and Hamlet said that he wanted to marry her only so she would sleep with him. Laertes told her that Hamlet comes from a royal family and she does not, therefore Hamlet will not marry her, nor does he love her. Ophelia disregarded most of what Laertes had said about Hamlet. Right after that Polonius came to speak to Laertes before he had gone to England. They spoke briefly and Polonius gave him advice to follow. Before saying farewell, Laertes told Ophelia to remember what he had said. Curious of what his children were conversing about, Polonius asked Ophelia what Laertes meant by that. Ophelia told him about the talk they had about Hamlet. Polonius agreed with what Laertes had said and told her to stay away from Hamlet. Ophelia was not pleased with her father’s request, but she obeyed him. In Act II Ophelia was in her closet sewing when Hamlet approached her with unusual behavior. He had his trousers hanging down off his waist, dirty stockings on, no hat on his head, and his skin looking extremely pale. He grabbed her by the wrist firmly and let out a boisterous sigh then stroked her face without saying a single word the entire time. She declared that he suffered of madness. Polonius believed that Hamlet was mad for Ophelia’s love. Out of concern for his daughter, Polonius had consulted the King about Hamlet’s bizarre behavior. Later on in Act III, while everyone was waiting...