Did Ophelia know Hamlet had killed her father?

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I have always had the doubt to whether Ophelia knew the cause of her father4s death...does anyone have an idea?

-- Larissa (slitch4ever@hotmail.com), December 16, 1999


Would Ophelia have gone 'round the bend if she didn't know? Branagh put her there("Hide, fox...") to indicate that she at least had enough knowledge of the night's events to put it together. It is possible that she was so emotionally fragile that she might have lost her marbles if her boyfriend went loony and her dad had a heart attack, but she still had Laertes by way of love and support so I don't think so. Loony boyfriend + dead father is not as mind-crumbling as loony boyfriend + dead father at the hands of said loony boyfriend(who was, by the way, recently betrayed by her own actions -therefore- you can add any feelings of personal guilt to the equation). The odd thing about Ophelia's madness (to my mind) is that Hamlet doesn't ever seem to know that it happened. He suspects that she killed herself, but doesn't appear to know the circumstances. If you were Hamlet, wouldn't you have asked Horatio about it?

-- mikken (mikken@neo.rr.com), January 13, 2000.

Though as a prince H lives very publically, he is a very private-natured, introspective person. He has only one true friendship with Horatio, and though he holds that very dear and deep, he doesn't even talk about that easily (cf III.ii.55 and 67). He thinks a lot, but doesn't readily share his thoughts or feelings with people, except occasionally with Horatio. V.ii follows on from V.i, with H naturally enough telling Horatio what happened on the voyage. He's just starting to talk about Laertes when Osric walks in. It seems to me the logical progression would be that he is going to go on to talk about Ophelia, but instead he has to deal with Osric. And then, "enter a Lord", and then the fight, and then he's dead.

If only ..., if only ..., if only .... It's so sad.

-- catherine england (catherineamer@hotmail.com), October 05, 2001.

Also, Hamlet and Horatio have probably been discussing Ophelia just before V.ii begins. That is the "this".

Women's loyalties being divided between the men they love, especially when the men are in conflict, occurs often in WS. Desdemona has to chose between her father and Othello. Juliet is torn when she finds out Romeo, her husband, has killed Thybalt, her cousin, etc. I think yes, Ophelia probably knows. It is one reason why the two men are confused together in her songs.

-- catherine england (catherine_england@hotmail.com), December 06, 2001.

Hell Yeah

-- Erin Booher (joe@yahoo.com), February 28, 2002.

I believe that Ophelia did have an idea that her father was killed by her x, hamlet. For as she is talking to the Queen in Act 4 Scene 5 she begins to sing about her father and her love all in one song. Also I believe that her madness is caused by the knowledge that Hamlet murdered her father. The two tragedies combined has caused madness!

-- Mel (punk_sex_kitten@hotmail.com), April 03, 2002.

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