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Word Count: 354
Both Polonius and Laertes believe that they have an unquestioned authority over Ophelia Polonius is treating his daughter as though her feelings are irrelevant Affection pooh You speak like a green girl Do you believe his tenders as you call them He treats Ophelia as a property rather than a daughter Laertes on the other hand treats her as though her judgment unimportant Perhaps he loves you now but you must fear This is similar to saying You cannot be with him even if you love him as if what she thinks and how she feels is unrelated Furthermore Laertes speech to Ophelia is filled with forceful sexual imagery to some this could be considered as normal brother and sister behavior however in my opinion it has slightly passed the borderline For instance in one line he referred Ophelia as a chaste treasure open to Hamlets unmasterd importunity He then compares Ophelia to springtime flowers which may be diseased even before they start to bloom suggesting that being associated with Hamlet can only harm her Laertes warns Ophelia to stay away from Hamlet because she is too weak and that fear is her best defense which underscores her feminine inferiority This extremely affectionate interplay between siblings brings up one of the main themes in Hamlet incest This scene parallels Hamlets situation regarding Claudiuss marriage to his brothers wife and Hamlets conflicting feelings for his motherAfter hearing Laeretes speech Orphillia promised to keep in mind his advice but also tried to stand up for herself by saying Do not as some ungracious pastors do Show me the steep and thorny way to heaven Whiles like a puffd and reckless libertine
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