Theme Of Innocence In Hamlet

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In Shakespeare's Hamlet, many characters experience turbulence in their relationship with others. Hamlet supposedly communicates with his dead father, Ophelia and Hamlet are basically forced to break up after their families claim they have gone crazy due to their love, Gertrude marries Hamlet’s uncle and shows no remorse or sadness over her husband dying, Hamlet kills Polonius, and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern betray Hamlet by working for King Claudius as a spy. However, beyond these relationships, Ophelia felt the most pain as she was betrayed not only by her love but by her family. They used her to benefit King Claudius in spying on Hamlet, imposed strict rules on her and treated her like a child. Ophelia’s abuse by both her and Hamlet’s…show more content…
He says to Ophelia, “Get thee to a nunnery: why wouldst thou be a breeder of sinners” (III.1. 119-120). In this line a “nunnery” is also taken as a brothel and considering her father’s desire for her to be virgin and clean, she pretends to not know what he is talking about to maintain a sense of innocence. He also says, “I loved you not” (III.1. 129), which leads her to think that like her father, Hamlet too thinks she is a whore. He accuses her of flourishing sin by partnering with King Claudius and supporting his role as King. Ophelia cannot stand up to Hamlet because she is hesitant to think for herself; likewise, Hamlet’s hesitation to just talk to Ophelia about her pact with King Claudius leaves them further…show more content…
In Act One, Scene 3, Laertes and Ophelia are talking about how she is unable to marry Hamlet due to social constructs. Laertes and Polonius are convincing her ever so slowly that she is not worth anything, not just to Hamlet, but by birth because of the class she was born into. Laertes says, “If she unmask her beauty to the moon: Virtue itself 'scapes not calumnious strokes” (I.3. 37-38), meaning that she cannot pretend to be pure and innocent when she is in fact not. Throughout the play, Laertes actually mentions this three times to her. Ophelia is treated as if she were a child by her brother and father when a remark is made about being immature and compares her pre-marital sexual interactions to: “canker galls the infants of the spring,/ Too oft before their buttons be disclosed” (I.3. 39-40). Laertes is relating his belief that a canker worm kills freshly bloomed flowers, to Ophelia’s loyalty to Hamlet that will poison her sense of purity. Ultimately this type of sheltering leads Ophelia to be more sensitive than other characters which encourages her to commit

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