Hamlet Essay Plan
‘Tragedy often contains subplots. To what extent does the subplot concerning Ophelia contribute to the audience’s understanding of the tragedy?’
Intro- Helps to a great extent- Ophelia’s subplot compliments and contrats to that of Hamlet’s.
Key points to come back to: They are torn apart by their madness/ tragic downfall.
Hamlet’s madness causes Ophelia’s.
Tragedy of women and Ophelia’s position-Hamlet can say what he feels, Ophelia cannot.
First scene-Act 1 Scene 3
With Laertes who tells her to stay away from Hamlet-as he cannot marry her-she could ruin her reputation. Polonius also forbids it-and any form of communication.
Analysis of this- We see Ophelia already being controlled by the men in her life, and this continues throughout the rest of the play. We have seen the catalysts for Hamlet’s demise already- the ghost and the uncaring nature of his mother and step-father- Both are treated inferior and while Hamlet rebels we see Ophelia conform.
Nature of family dynamic-no mother present. Could be part of Ophelia’s naivety, would she consider Gertrude a mother figure? Gertrude wants Ophelia to marry Hamlet, and Gertrude is also naïve and is using/has used men to her advantage. Ophelia, on the other hand is naïve to this type of behaviour, and we believe she is truly in love with Hamlet. Scene could be directed differently- Opehlia could be sarcasticastic when she agrees to comply with Polonius and Laertes, have a stronger stance, hold herself against them OR be very submissive-giving different perspectives to Ophelia.
Act 2 Scene 1 Ophelia tells Polonoius she has seen Hamlet behave madly, Polonius concludes Hamlet is driven mad by her love for Ophelia-which leads him to hatch a plan with Claudius. They hide while watching Ophelia talk to Hamlet-who thinks the conversation is private.- Hamlet –‘get thee to a nunnery’, Ophelia scared, upset, heartbroken, thinks Hamlet has gone mad, but is still in love with him-her ‘O what a...