Hamlet’s Love for Ophelia

Hamlet is noted as being one of Shakespearean most puzzling and darkest plays. While the play has a concise story, there are numerous doubts relating to different issues behind the plot. One issue that is never truly resolved deals with the true feelings of Prince Hamlet, and whether he in fact loves Aphelia. The word love is extremely commanding, and the concept of love may be hard to grasp when one of the lovers remains undecided. In Act Ill, Scene 1, Hamlet claims to have loved
Aphelia; however, four lines later, he states that he does not love her anymore. This makes it difficult to decipher when Hamlet is truly in love, as his feeling towards Aphelia regularly change. This confusing cycle is due to Hamlet’s “madness”, and is further influenced by Hamlet constantly being pushed to his limits due to anguish and sorrow. Hamlet is portrayed as an unconventional lover, which explains why he sends mixed messages that confuse Aphelia, making her question whether or not his feelings for her are true.
Two people who are in love would not want to risk the chance of hurting one another because to them it is not worth it. Hamlet does not think in this manner, which raises the question of whether the love between them is strong enough to have lasted through the chaos and difficulty in Hamlet’s life. It is true that Hamlet’s love for Aphelia is debatable; however, when analyzing the “go thy ways to a nunnery” interaction, the dispute with Alerter, and Hamlet’s twisted affection towards Aphelia, one can see that his love is authentic.

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