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Further, in the scenes following, Hamlet never reveals any sadness or remorse over it. In Shakespeare's Hamlet, Prince Hamlet may act like he is "mad north-northwest", but it is his lover, Ophelia, who is truly mad.
She is often looked at as a tragic character, who is a picture of innocence and purity, but due to her weakness (sometimes noted as feminine weakness and nothing more) she crumbles into insanity and ultimately kills herself.
First, she is utterly devoted to her father and brother as she is growing up without her mother.
However, she also wishes to be devoted to Hamlet, a man she believes loves her. On one extreme, Ophelia is meant to represent women not only as weak, but blindly obedient and easily manipulated and dominated by men.
But on the other extreme, she is simply innocent, pure, and a victim of circumstances she could neither control, nor hope to be equipped to handle.
Ophelia's love for both Polonius and Hamlet serves as the foundation for her collapse. When we first meet her in Act I, Scene 3, and for the rest of the play, she is very obedient and respectful toward her father.
It could be argued that this is solely because of patriarchal society.
3.110-1), her dialogue shows that she is clearly taken by him.
Polonius sees how "green" Ophelia is and, clearly thinking only about himself and his image, tells Ophelia to stay away from Hamlet so she would not tender him a fool.
She reveals her choice when she lies to Hamlet, saying her father is at home, when, in fact, Polonius is hiding behind a curtain spying.
Much has been surmised by the somewhat secondary and certainly static character of Ophelia in Shakespeare's Hamlet.