What is the tragedy of Ophelia?

At the bottom of it, where or…
M. Tsvetaeva
“Dialogue of Hamlet with a conscience”

The image of Ophelia is one of the brightest examples of Shakespeare’s dramatic skill. Her life is shown as a dotted line: farewell to Laertes, talk with her father, a story about Hamlet’s insanity, a conversation and a break with Hamlet, a conversation in front of the “mousetrap” scene, a scene of insanity.

Ophelia appears before us in a relationship with her brother, father, prince Hamlet, in whom she is in love. Raised at court, the heroine is very lonely. She is surrounded by people who do not care about her. The girl is only a toy, a tool in the hands of others. Her love for Hamlet becomes a bet in the palace game. His own father, Polonius, spies on her, and after learning that she meets with the prince, tries to prevent this love. Moreover, not only because his daughter is lower than Hamlet by position, but also because Hamlet

is from another camp, he is a rival of Claudius, to whom Polonius bets. Both the father and brother demand that she renounce love for the prince. Ophelia is an obedient daughter, she is not used to anyone. And it’s not that it lacks will and independence. Simply, she herself does not fully believe in the seriousness of Hamlet’s intentions.

Only, dear brother,
Do not be like a sinful shepherd, that to others He
points the way to the sky with a thorny path,
And himself, a carefree and empty reveler,
Goes the flowering path of comfort,
Forgetting his advice.

Ophelia ceases to meet Hamlet and receive letters from him. Any girl in this case has the right to wait for an explanation. It’s for Hamlet. But he’s busy with thoughts of revenge. He does not care about Ophelia now. Therefore, when King Claudius asks Ophelia to speak with the prince, the girl agrees, even knowing that the conversation will be eavesdropped. But she has no other way to check the truth of his feelings or to be convinced of his insanity. Ophelia is trustful, therefore Hamlet will try

the role of a madman on her. The scene of the gap between lovers is full of drama. Hamlet does not believe in Ophelia, he defends his own life – by lies, by playing, by insanity. He tries to soften the gap, saying that he did not stop loving, but never loved, pretended, and he should not be sorry for him. The offended Ophelia holds with quiet dignity, returning gifts:

No, my prince, you gave; and the words
Breathing so sweetly that was doubly Valuable
gift – their fragrance disappeared.
Take the same; a gift to us did not please,
When the one who gave presents ceases to love.

Does Hamlet understand that Ophelia is sent? In the long run, it does not matter. He knows that the girl is open and trustful, that she will still tell the conversation with him Polonius. Ophelia does not know how to lie, so Hamlet does not try to agree with her, as with Horatio.

The last meeting between Hamlet and Ophelia takes place in the evening before the performance “Murder of Gonzaga”. Hamlet sits at the feet of the girl, intentionally speaking of harshness and even vulgarity. And Ophelia patiently endures everything, implicitly confident in some of her guilt and the madness of the prince. And then Hamlet kills Polonius, and the girl loses the only support in life. The man she continues to love turns out to be the murderer of her father. A poor mind can not stand this shock. The logic of the insanity of Ophelia contains several obsessions: it is the death of the father, the trampled love, the cruelty of the world. Her death – a sad pattern: such a pure, trusting creature has nothing to do at the court, where there is anger and treachery. It was used and thrown out of the world. And the living remorse of Hamlet over her grave can not fix anything.

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What is the tragedy of Ophelia?