Hamlet and Ophelia go back and forth on their feelings towards each other throughout the play Hamlet
Hamlet and Ophelia go back and forth on their feelings towards each other throughout the play Hamlet. At one point the feelings appear mutual but in Act III, scene i, we see a different side of the two expressing their feelings that does not bode well with any fairy tale love story. Their feelings towards each other are edgy and full of frustration. In the same scene, Ophelia tries to return some gifts Hamlet gave her, but, suspicious of her motives, he denies they are from him, “No, not I. I never gave you aught.” (3.1.105), and this appears to anger him. Furthermore, his father’s death and his mother’s quick remarriage to his father’s brother was the turning point of his whole perspective of all women. He, however, appears to direct his frustrations towards Ophelia wrongly and this causes King Claudius and Polonius, who were convinced that it is unrequited love that caused Hamlet’s madness, to question Hamlet’s love for Ophelia as he was ruthless and offensive towards her. Although Hamlet’s words are harsh, they express some form of selfish affection towards her. He tells her to quickly get herself to a nunnery where she could preserve herself, and if she must be married, he prays that she be married by a fool, not a wise man. After Hamlet has left the scene, Polonius explains to Claudius that he still believes that Hamlet’s actions arise from unrequited love, “The origin and commencement of his grief / Sprung from neglected love.” (3.1.191-92). Both Hamlet and Ophelia confess that they once had feelings for each other as Ophelia states, “I sucked the honey of his musicked vows” (3.1.170) she once believed Hamlet’s words of affection towards her. However due to the difference in class since Hamlet comes from a noble family and Ophelia is just an ordinary lady she keeps her feelings to herself heeding Polonius’ advice. Hamlet on the other hand refrains from honestly expressing his love for Ophelia because he now views women as naïve and not to be trusted.