Ophelia's Road to Madness

In: English and Literature

Submitted By blaine
Words 1105
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Ophelia’s Road to Madness
Thesis Statement: The origin of Ophelia’s madness is rendered through examination of her relationships with her father Polonius, her brother, Laertes, and her lover Hamlet.

I. Polonius is self seeking and callous.
A. Polonius uses her to further his own agenda.
B. Ophelia obediently and dutifully refuses Hamlet at her father’s request.
II. Laertes overshadows Ophelia’s hope.
A. Laertes brotherly advice is demanding.
B. Ophelia loses her friend and confidant in her brother’s absence.
III. Ophelia goes from happy to devastated in her love life.
A. Hamlet humiliates her verbally.
B. Hamlet kills her father.
IV. Ophelia goes mad.
A. Betrayed by Hamlet
B. Used by father.
C. Death of father.
D. Abandoned by brother.

Ophelia’s Road to Madness
At the beginning of the play Hamlet, Ophelia is at the peak of happiness in life. She has found her true love and feels love and respect for her father and brother. Her fairytale ends abruptly after a chain of events unfold that destroys her emotionally and drives her to insanity. The origin of Ophelia’s madness is rendered through examination of her relationships with her father Polonius, her brother, Laertes, and her lover, Hamlet. Polonius is head advisor to the new king of Denmark. A position of such astute stature requires he have his own house in order. It would not be looked upon respectfully if he held this position and his own home were in disarray. There is no mention of a mother figure in the play, but it does reveal a close knit family between Ophelia, her father, and her brother. Ophelia relies heavily on her father, sole parent, and her brother, her confidant and friend, for direction and guidance. Therefore, it is out of love and respect that Ophelia feels compelled to follow her father’s harsh request to abandon her deep feelings and deny Hamlet’s…...

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