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Word Count: 2,726
I DOUBT Doubt thou the stars are five Doubt that the sun doth move Doubt truth to be a liar But never doubt I Love The attitude of Hamlet towards Ophelia is one of the greatest puzzles in the play The exact nature of his feelings for Ophelia is left ambiguous As most critics have agreed Hamlet did once love Ophelia deeply and sincerely but he ceased to do so Why How can we explain Hamlets conduct towards Ophelia throughout the play his ruthlessness and savagery towards a gentle and inoffensive girl whom he had once loved so ardently II LOVE IN HONOURABLE FASHION Ophelia herself gives testimony of Hamlets genuine love towards her My Lord he hath importund me with Love In honourable fashion He has approached her many times with tenderness and holy vows of heaven as a testimony of his affection and honourable intentions Her father Polonius advises her not to trust his vows for they are brokers Hamlet I iii v 127 - Lord Hamlet is out of her sphere Polonius orders her to see no more of him Her brother Laertes is warning her that Hamlets love is but a fashion and a toy in blood A violet in the youth of primy nature Forward not permanent sweet not lasting The perfume and suppliance of a minute No more But a real material proof is put before us - a love-letter that Hamlet wrote to Ophelia The letter is written in the conventional lovers stile and it is a real outbreak of passion There is no doubt he loves her O dear Ophelia I am ill at these numbers I have not art to reckon my groans but that I Love thee best O most best believe it Adieu Thine evermore most dear lady whilst this machine is to him HAMLET So he did love her and promised to
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