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Word Count: 1,258
Each of the times that I have had the opportunity to read Hamlet the character of Ophelia has always managed to strike a raw nerve For several reasons this lady has always appeared to be in my eyes a dependent and easily manipulated woman because of this I have continued to despise her But if this is indeed the reaction that Shakespeare intended to provoke what reason did he have for doing it Ophelia is first introduced in the third scene of the first act In this scene she is having a discussion about Hamlets advances towards her with her brother Laertes During his lecture about the ways of men Laertes reminds her that His greatness weighed his will is not his own For he himself is subject to his birth1320-21 He continues by warning her of giving up her chastity lightly saying of Hamlets advances Fear it Ophelia fear it my dear sister And keep you in the rear of your affection Out of shot and danger of desire1336-47 Ophelia responds to her brothers admonishment on the subject of love saying I shall the effect of this good lesson keep As watchman to my heart1345-46 As Laertes departs Ophelia promises him that his advice will be taken to heart Tis in my memory locked And you yourself shall keep the key of it1385-86 Later in the scene a conversation between Ophelia and her father Polonius dwells on the same topic as that which was witnessed between siblings Polonius says to her You do not understand yourself so clearly As it behoves my daughter and your honour1396-97 Polonius after insinuating that Ophelia does not understand what is good for the both of them in this situation demands to know what has occurred between her and the Lord Hamlet Ophelia responds confessing that He hath my lord of late mad many tenders Of his affection to me1399-100
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