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Written by Katharine T
(5/19/2003 2:48 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, GR: An Ophelia theory, part II, penned by Laraine
] There's quite a bit more, but it is all to the same effect: Ophelia betrays Hamlet in this scene, and he figures it out from the start of the scene. The big conclusion to Jacobi's point is, "For this point on [the end of the "get thee to a nunnery" dialog], Hamlet realizes that there is no one in his world that he can trust. Everyone is acting, and survival will depend on choosing and playing one's own role as shrewdly as possible."
I agree, getting the dynamics of this scene is really very important. And Hamlet's inability to trust anyone is pivotal. You have to understand Hamlet's feelings of isolation in order to get why he's being so harsh on Ophelia here. The "Nunnery" scene is really horrible from Ophelia's point of view. Hamlet basically pours out all of his contempt and hate for corruption on Ophelia.
That said, I'm still left with some questions. What, really, has Ophelia done that leaves Hamlet with so deep a sense of betrayal? Why does he lump together the woman he loves (I do believe he loves her) with everything that he hates, everything evil and corrupt around him. Especially, why are all women condemned because of Gertrude's sketchy actions? Surely Ophelia ought to be the very opposite of Gertrude? Why does Hamlet's love for Ophelia (again assuming the love is genuine) which one would think the only genuine thing in the situation around him, get mixed up in all the corruption and scheming?
More on this later. I'm not done preparing for this group read yet! (Shame...) I'm going to review some of my notes from the last time I studied Hamlet, and come back with some more thoughts on Ophelia and her relationship to Hamlet.
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