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Like Lavinia Ophelia falls victim to the abuse of the men she trusts Ophelia is the most innocent victim of Hamlets revenge in Shakespeares Hamlet Ophelias trust and dependency upon the men in her life lead to her madness and ultimately to her death While suggesting complete mental derangement Shakespeare advances the play by giving us a very clear indication of the reason for Ophelias madness her irreconcilable attachments to Polonius and Hamlet as persons and to chastity and sensual love as desirable goals Tracy 83 Unlike many of the complex characters in Hamlet Ophelia is presented simply as a one dimensional innocent girl Her father Polonius and brother Laertes have raised Ophelia who like Lavinia is motherless in a patriarchal society that teaches obedience to fathers and husbands Is the obedient nature in which she has been raised to blame for her madness It is hard to read Hamlet and not feel sorry for Ophelia she has been victimized by the men she loves and even in her madness keeps the simplicity and purity that characterizes her Ophelia is very close to her family her father Polonius and brother Laertes have taken great pains to shelter her She is not involved with matters of state she spends her days no doubt engaged in needlepoint and flower gathering She returns the love shown to her by Polonius and Laertes tenfold and couples it with complete and unwavering loyalty Her whole character is that of simple unselfish affection Bradley 130 Even though her love for Hamlet is strong she obeys her father when he tells her not to see Hamlet again or accept any letters that Hamlet writes Her heart is pure and when she does do something dishonest such as tell Hamlet that her father has gone home when he is really behind the curtain it is out of genuine fear Despite Ophelias trusting nature Polonius takes advantage of her by using her as a
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