Hamlet and Ophelia's Relationship

Hamlet and Ophelia by lost in burnie

Ugly Love


Hamlet is one of the longest plays that William Shakespeare wrote. It is a tragedy play that took a place in Kingdom of Denmark. It talked about the revenge of Prince Hamlet on his uncle Claudius for murdering King Hamlet, to take the throne and his wife Gertrude. The play is filled of portrayal, love revenge, and grief. What attracted and raised a lot of questions is the relationship between Hamlet and Ophelia. Does Hamlet really fell in love with Ophelia or was he using her to avenge his uncle?

There is a lot of indications in the play shows that Hamlet loved Ophelia, yet there is a lot of lines contradict that and show the opposite. Hamlet sent Ophelia a letter to express how deeply he is in love with her and he assured her that he will be faithful to her “doubt truth to be a liar, but never doubt I love” (Act II. Scene II.118-119)

Hamlet said to Ophelia “I did love you” (Act III. Scene I.116), which shows that he has feeling for her, yet he changed his mind later on and said “I loved you not” (Act III. Scene I.120). Hamlet seemed to be confused and even when he asked her to go to nunnery, he asked her “where’s your father” (Act III. Scene I.131). He thinks he is being watched by someone.

Ophelia in the other hand, she stands for her love with Hamlet shown earlier with her father Polonius, “my lord, he hath importuned me with in honorable fashion” (Act I. Scene III.111-112). Moreover, she assured him, her father, about Hamlet’s love with his heavenly vows and actions “and hath given countenance to his speech, my lord. With almost all the holy vows of heaven” (Act I. Scene III.114-115).

When Hamlet found out that Ophelia passed away, he said “I loved Ophelia. Forty thousand brothers could not with all their quantity of love make up my sum” (Act V. Scene I. 272-274). Later on, he wanted the whole thing to end because he cannot accept the fact that she is gone “to outface me with leaping in her grave? Be 

buried quick with her, and so will I” (Act V. Scene I. 281-282).

Hamlet was in love with Ophelia but he always tried to hide at the beginning, at the end he could not. In fact, when they were alone he always expressed himself the fullest but when felt threatened or watched, he always tried to give the opposite message. Was he doing it to protect her or was he doing it for his own vanity? That is in my opinion “Ugly Love”

Work cited:

- Shakespeare, William “Hamlet” Literature Craft and Voice. Second Edition. New York City: McGraw-Hill, 2012. Print

- Image by lost-in-burnie: