Sunday, December 29, 2019

The Symbolism of Ophelia’s Character Essay - 733 Words

Name Subject Instructor Date The Symbolism of Ophelia’s Character The name Ophelia has been most commonly associated with William Shakespeares play, Hamlet, where she is referred to as the title characters mad lover. She is believed to have killed herself out of madness by drowning herself in a river. Interpretations about Ophelias character have ranged from being a woman who lost her sanity upon her father, Polonius death to being the object of hatred by Hamlet. However, despite her supporting character in the play, her personality has roused numerous criticisms and interpretations from philosophers and critics. This is probably due to the fact that her role in the play is more of a descriptive character rather than a speaking†¦show more content†¦The costs of such religions refers to the madness and ultimately the death of Ophelia. It can be presumed through Chapmans statement that the Catholic religion puts more pressure down on Ophelia as she tries to overcome her marriage problems and her s exual desires. Ironically though, instead of feeling ashamed, Ophelia resorts to the â€Å"old lauds† to assure herself of peace and solace. Therefore, it is also safe to conclude that it is her religion or piety which takes away her fear. This is evident in the fact that she drowns just after she chanted such â€Å"old lauds†. Erin Campbell provides a more psychological and sociological approach in the character analysis of Ophelia. She argues that â€Å"Ophelia suffers from hysteria, a malady often ascribed to upper class women who bide their time in their fathers homes while awaiting fulfillment of their culturally mandated roles as wives and mothers† (Campbell). Campbell proves her point by comparing Ophelias character to that of Quentin Compson who also drowned herself as a result of unrequited love, patriarchal restrictions and losses. Truthfully, it is the social environment of Ophelia which caused her madness. Feeling imprisoned and manipulated by the pe ople around her, she felt thatShow MoreRelatedThe Symbolism Of Ophelia s Hamlet 1500 Words   |  6 Pagesto: Part 4 Thesis: In Shakespeare’s tragedy, Hamlet, Ophelia’s role would be interpreted as a plot device by a modern English woman and as a victim by an Elizabethan woman. This would occur because of their understanding of the symbolism of Ophelia’s actions in madness, the context surrounding Hamlet’s view of her, and their characterization of Ophelia. 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