Hamlet & Ophelia - the play scene

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Why does Hamlet feel the need to be so cruel to Ophelia during the play scene?

-- Patrick Walker (www.criesandwhispers666@yahoo.com), November 16, 2002


I don't think he does. I think his remarks are pretty absent-minded. See my response to "Hamlet at the play". It isn't actually cruel. Some of their conversation even verges on flighting, like that of Beatrice and Benedick in MUCH ADO. She's not the lily she's usually played as. She understands the crudity, though she doesn't approve. She answers back, corrects him withh 'Nay, 'tis twice two months, my lord', takes him to task for his crudity like he's a naughty schoolboy, even stands up to him when he starts in on his mother and the King. It took me a while to 'get' Ophelia, but now I think she's magnificent and lovely.

-- catherine england (catherine_england@hotmail.com), November 17, 2002.

I think that perhaps Shakespeare intended it to be this way. in re- productions - espically in Branagh's version, it seems that Hamlet is drunk. Maybe the alcohol is an excuse - and maybe it is suggesting that Hamlet dosn't actually like Ophelia anymore, after having regected him.

-- Anahita (assmaster_jnr@hotmail.com), March 04, 2005.

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