The Meeting Between Ophelia and Laertes
Laertes loves his sister but like most Elizabethan males, he seeks to control her. Before he leaves for France, he gives a big speech to her. Hamlet also shows signs of madness due to his relationship with Ophelia. Forty thousand brothers could not with all their quantity of love make up my sum. of the play when Hamlet discovers that it was Claudius who killed his father. Hamlet and Ophelia have a relationship that is quite significant to Hamlet as a early in the play when she is with her brother, Laertes, and her father, Polonius.
Poor Ophelia, bewildered by his onslaught, knows neither what to say nor think. He will teach her: Appealing to his own experience, he assures her that love is prodigal of vows, which scarce survive their making.
She must, therefore, not believe the Prince's vows, which are brokers, clothed in pious form the better to deceive. In conclusion, he forbids her, henceforth, to meet and speak more with the Lord Hamlet. Her father's words confirming those of Laertes, and blasting even worse the fair name of her lover, make him nothing less than a deceiver and seducer.
They affect Ophelia's heart most painfully; for in her ignorance and inexperience she has the greatest confidence in the wisdom of her father and her brother, and, therefore, feels inclined, against her own good judgment, to distrust her lover.
This disloyalty reveals a weakness of character, which shall later lead her into other fatal errors. Without making further defense, Ophelia bows in silence, and with filial respect utters the laconic reply, "I shall obey, my lord. How to cite this article: The Riddles of Hamlet. But Ophelia, who has had ample means of knowing Hamlet better than her brother, judges differently, and, by an unwillingness to discuss the delicate subject, laconically implies her doubts of the correctness of his judgment.
The doubt expressed by Ophelia causes her brother to maintain his position in a lengthy speech, in which he dishonorably insinuates that if the Prince really do love her, it is with an ignoble, an illicit love, since he is not free to marry her.
His will is not his own, but subject to the powers that rule; and, therefore, not until his words of love are sanctioned by the "voice of Denmark," must she listen to "his songs. While the words of Laertes seem commendable, both because they are prompted by affection for his sister, and because the prudence and fear which they urge, are needed safeguards for virtue; they are, nevertheless, reprehensible in as far as they express a rash judgment of Hamlet's character.
It is true that, according to an unwritten law, the crown prince could not marry whom he would, nor espouse one beneath his princely station, without the consent of the governing power.
But this custom was clearly ignored in Hamlet's case.
Mistrusted Love - Polonius Speaks to Ophelia
His courtship of Ophelia, a lady-in-waiting on the Queen, was no secret at court. Gertrude, who had made her a special favorite, knew well the mutual relation of the young lovers, and not only encouraged it, but even, as she affirms, looked forward to its consummation in lawful marriage.
That Hamlet's love for Ophelia was sincere and honest, is known from the Poet's portrayal of his highly sensitive moral nature. Throughout the drama he appears habitually enamored of honesty and virtue, and repelled by deceit, vice, and everything dishonorable. Ophelia was herself convinced that his love was sincere and honorable, as is shown by her words to her father; and Hamlet himself gives undoubted proofs on numerous occasions, and above all, when, in a later public view, he outbraves Laertes in his love for her.
In the consciousness of her own innocence and in ignorance of the evils of the world, Ophelia listened patiently to her brother's words of caution and of prudence. They seemed founded on his own experience, and while partly admiring their worldly wisdom, she felt some suspicion of their application to Laertes himself.Brother & Sister relationships are the best !!!!
Accordingly, after the general remark that she will make his counsel the guardian of her heart, she forthwith proceeds to lecture him in turn.
She knew well her brother's weaknesses and instability of character. More than once she had listened with deep interest to the glowing tales of his gay life in the brilliant southern capital.