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|GR: pre-emptive strike?
Written by Stacie M.
(5/26/2003 1:58 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Harsh Hamlet, penned by Katharine T
] 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?
Maybe Hamlet is really protecting himself from betrayal in this scene? Eveyone he ever loved has betrayed him in some way, and maybe he's so cynical he figures it's only a matter of time until she betrays him too. So he lauches a pre-emptive strike - he rejects and pushes her away himself so that she can never betray him; thereby preserving the one true love he has. He destroys the love in order to save it. In his cynicism he might see it as self-protection - he will betray and hurt Ophelia before she can ever hurt him - which he knows she will. And then he won't have to suffer her betrayal, and he can blame himself rather than Ophelia and preserve his love for her. It's twisted, but Hamlet is pretty twisted and tormented himself during this play.
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