The Tragedy ofHamlet,Prince of Denmark By William Shakespeare
The Purpose: To Define, explain, and justify Hamlet’s feelings on love and women.
Hamlet’s feelings on women… • Hamlet doesn’t have a high opinion about women. He thinks they are faithless and selfish. Hamlet - “Frailty thy name is woman.” (p.13) Ophelia - “ ’Tis brief, my lord.” (p.74) Hamlet - “As woman’s love.”
…and on love. • Hamlet is very passionate but can’t show his feelings. He writes charming and emotional love letters to Ophelia. “Doubt thou the stars are fire; Doubt that the sun doth move; Doubt truth to be a liar; But never doubt I love.” (p.43)
Love or Insanity • Hamlet rushes into Ophelia’s bedroom, with his “doublet all unbraced, no hat upon his head, his stockings fouled”, holds her wrist hard and stares at her for a long time. Shakes her arm a little, nods his head, sighs and leaves. It is not clear, if Hamlet does this, because he loves her or wants to prove he is crazy. Polonius and the King and Queen think he does it because Ophelia refuses to see him or take his letters. Hamlet himself never mentions it at all.
Mother complex ?!? • One of the reasons Hamlet treats Ophelia like he does is because he doesn’t respect his mother. Her quick marriage with the dead king’s brother, makes Hamlet think that she is fickle. • Hamlet realizes that Gertrude does things because • of her desire for sexual gratification and this is why • she married Claudius too soon. Hamlet – “A bloody deed – almost a bad, good mother, as kill a king, and marry with his brother.”
…to love or not to love… • First Hamlet writes Ophelia love letters … [“…to the celestial, and my soul’s idol, the most beatified Ophelia…”] • he scares her by acting crazy… • [Ophelia - “oh my lord, my lord, I have been so affrighted!”] • then he makes racy comments at the play… • [Hamlet – “Lady, shall I lie in your lap?”] • tells her he never really loved her… • [Hamlet – “I loved you not.”] • and finally starts a fight with Laertes about who • loved her most. • [Hamlet – “I loved Ophelia. Forty thousand brothers could not (with all their • quantity of love) make up my sum.”]
…to love or not to love…  Hamlet – “ Ay, truly; 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.” Ophelia – “ Indeed, my lord, you made me believe so.” Hamlet – “ You should not, have believed me; for virtue cannot so inoculate our old stock but we shall relish of it. I loved you not.”
Good Advice… • Hamlet thinks that he knows best! Hamlet (to Gertrude) – “ Not this, by no means, that I bid you do: Let the bloat king tempt you again to bed; Pinch wanton on you cheek; call you his mouse; And let him, for a pair of reechy kisses, or paddling in you neck with his damned fingers.” (p.93) Hamlet (to Ophelia) – “We are arrant knaves all; believe none of us. Go thy ways to a nunnery.” (p.65)
Conclusion… • Hamlet can’t make up his mind if he loves Ophelia or not and he doesn’t know how to treat her. • He does not really love his mother, because she • betrayed his father. • [Hamlet (after the queen dies) – “Wretched queen, adieu!” (p.145)] • He gets killed in the duel with Laertes, which is • fought because of Ophelia (and Polonius).
The End A presentation by Megan & Juliana