Ophelia The Mouse





Rob Strieker
10/25/99
Eng 111 Dr. Floyd Collins

Ophelia the Mouse


Playing with someone’s feelings is a very serious matter. Ophelia is innocent of any wrongdoing, and in return she is used as a tool so people can get what they want. Her father and Hamlet used her as a tool, which led her to madness and her loving brother was not there to save her. Ophelia was a good woman who was treated as a child and had no independence.

Laertes(Ophelia’s brother) loves her with all of his heart. He is always worried with her well being and whatever choices she may decide on. He tells Ophelia to be cautious of Hamlet’s love and words to her. Laertes tells her that Hamlet seeks not her but what she can offer. Laertes also points out that Hamlet is evil and that she should fear him instead of loving him. Laertes and Ophelia had a special bond between them and he never used her for his self-gain. He showed a lot of compassion towards her but where was he at the time of her death? Laertes should have taken care of Ophelia when she went crazy: he should not of let her run off knowing how ill she was. If Laertes was so concerned with her well being when she was in love with Hamlet then why didn’t Laertes show concern with her life and protect her during her weak point of her life? I do believe that Laertes truly loved Ophelia and would do anything for her but at the time of her madness he was too concerned with the death of his father to pay attention to Ophelia.

Polonius acts toward Ophelia with dispise and disgust. Polonius uses her as a tool to become closer and get on Claudius’ good side. Polonius cares nothing for Ophelia: she is considered as a pawn in a chess game only to protect the king, Polonius. He treats her like a child that knows nothing and can do nothing. He also tells her that Hamlet wants only her chastity and all of his love letters mean nothing. Polonius tells her to stay away from Hamlet only to drive him crazy for her: Polonius also tells Ophelia that she should not give into Hamlet, she should not negotiate with him but only demand a greater price for her love. Polonius is already using Ophelia as a tool to get what he wants which is power and also be a step closer to the king: Polonius wants his bloodline to be royal. Ophelia is confused now and defends Hamlet in front of her father, for which she is called a fool and told that she knows nothing. Polonius is always cold toward Ophelia: for example, when she is confused about what she should think about Hamlet her father says, “ Marry, I will teach you.” Polonius did not care how Ophelia felt and he always hurt her feelings. Polonius embarrassed her many times, for example when he read Hamlets love letters to Ophelia out loud to the King and Queen. I don’t think Polonius ever really cared for Ophelia and saw her not as a daughter but as a mere tool for gaining what he wanted.

Hamlet also used Ophelia as a tool but unlike Polonius and like Laertes he loved her. Hamlet would write love letters expressing how he felt and what she reminded him of. Hamlet loved her very much but his love for her, during the time he was finding out who killed his father, diminished quickly. When Polonius and the King plotted to test Hamlets love for Ophelia, Hamlet caught on to the treachery which Ophelia was involved in and Hamlet went off on her, telling that he never loved her and that all women were deceitful. Hamlet also used her as a tool to his own benefit when he was provoking the king and queen by making fun of how long his father was dead, a mere two hours, which Ophelia corrected when she said “two months”. Hamlet confused Ophelia by telling that he never loved her and then coming back during the play acting like everything was just perfect. This gave Ophelia mixed emotions; she didn’t know how to respond to because she has