Explore the relationship between Hamlet and Ophelia. Think about the following: Does
he love her then stop loving her? What is revealed about Hamlet by the encounters we see
between Ophelia and him? What is revealed about Ophelia? What is revealed about
Hamlet and Ophelia in Ophelia’s descriptions of encounters we don’t see? Do Hamlet
and Ophelia have sex? In what way, if any, does Hamlet’s being sent to England and his
responsibility for Polonius’ death have to do with Ophelia’s drowning?
For example, in Act 3, Scene1, Hamlet denies ever having given Ophelia anything and
treats her shabbily. Shakespeare gives Ophelia a soliloquy, “O, what a noble mind is here
o’erthrown” (3.1.150-162). Explore the meaning of this speech and what it tells us about
Ophelia’s feelings for Hamlet.
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