Love in “Hamlet” Play by William Shakespeare

Hamlet written by William Shakespeare is a play-tragedy disclosing a lot of aspects of the social and personal lives of its characters. The author managed to raise the most important problems of humanity combining negative and positive emotions in his heroes. One of the most brightest and significant aspects described in the play is the concept of love. According to the tragedy, love is the highest feeling which changes the human inner world and makes a person be completely uncontrolled by thoughts but be in captivity of his beloved significant other. Hamlet’s love for Ophelia can be observed during the whole play covering many scenes of the tragedy.

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The concept of love disclosing the burning feelings of Hamlet and Ophelia to each other is shown by the author in Act I, scene III. Shakespeare wanted to raise the concept of love from the very beginning of his play. In this act, he discloses the cautions of Ophelia’s brother not to fall in love with Hamlet. The author wanted to show that nothing and nobody can stop this feeling. Though Ophelia was asked not to have anything with Lord Hamlet further scenes showed that love makes people completely uncontrolled and only listen to their hearts. This scene is devoted to the emergence of the greatest feeling in the world.

Polonius tried to prevent Ophelia’s feelings and even told her about Hamlet’s false love for her to make her obey and never associate with him. The concept of love is considered to be the central one in this scene because all the characters participating in it felt and predicted close relationships of Ophelia and Hamlet trying to save her from this “emotional disaster”. Nevertheless, the author showed that it is completely impossible to stop love and prohibit somebody to love and be loved. This scene is a kind of caution for all the events and feelings awaiting her in the future by which Shakespeare wanted to underline the fact that love is the only concept which changed the destiny of his characters.

Scene I of Act III which is called “the nunnery scene” is the episode of the play where the author proved the deep feelings of Ophelia and Hamlet. In the very beginning, Hamlet tried to pretend that he felt nothing to Ophelia by insulting and rejecting her. But this behavior of his was evidence of his innocent love for her. He decided to use this strategy by pretending a mad person. He repeats the words

To a nunnery, go.”

And he cannot understand what to do next. He was covered by a deep feeling of love for Ophelia but the atmosphere of hopelessness that he can lose everything frightened. The only thing that made him stronger was his feelings and his love was shared. Shakespeare showed that love helped his characters to fight any difficulties and gave them hope for the better because they wanted to live for their beloved people. Hamlet wanted to marry Ophelia and protect her during all their life together. In this scene Hamlet states,

This is a terrible shame, but I’m different, my love for Ophelia is different and pure and I will always be true to her”

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The author showed how Hamlet lost his faith in love; in his love for his mother and Ophelia. He was uncontrolled by his brains and just followed his feelings and his heart. It was difficult to make a proper decision because his mother and Ophelia were the most important people in his life but they could not accept each other. His mother did not believe in marriages and made him do the same, while Ophelia was the only person he wanted to marry in his life.

The concept of love is a leading one in the tragedy. It brings both happiness and depression to its characters making them suffer from having no chance to be together with the beloved person and share everything. It is the only feeling that has great power over any person being in love.

In Act V, scene I Shakespeare discloses the dramatic side of the love influence upon a loving person. He managed to prove that this feeling can give rise to hatred and revenge. Love is the concept that is the background of all other concepts raised and discussed in the tragedy. This scene is devoted to the death of Ophelia… The moment when Hamlet got to know about the death of his beloved woman he was covered by horror. This unknown him feeling caused by the death of his love and the only person he lived for made him helpless and miserable. At that moment everything died for him. He tried to find a way out but everything was in vain. Hamlet was in despair.

Forty thousand brothers / could not, with all their quantity of love, / make up my sum”

Hamlet became uncontrolled. He repeated the words that he would do everything for her; he was ready to be buried alive to be together with her. Love turned into the feeling of revenge and hatred to those who were considered to be guilty for everything, for the death of Ophelia. This scene is the most tragic in the play because it shows how the concept of love interacts with the negative effects caused by its betray and death.

At the end of the scene, Hamlet was taken away because of his madness at that bitter moment. The fact of the physical death of Ophelia did not mean her spiritual death. Hamlet was shocked because of his miserable state and helplessness. By this the writer managed to underline the power of love; he stresses that this very feeling is the motor of our happiness and sense of life. This scene proves that love is a strong feeling: it can make people be the most powerful in the world but at the same time the most miserable and helpless. Hamlet could not control his emotions and consciousness; the sense of his life had gone and it was the only thing he thought about at that moment.

Hamlet is considered to be one of the mystifying works of Shakespeare. It is full of uncertainties in the relationships of the characters. The concept of love is presented as the central one being the motor of all events and emotions of the characters. The first scene analyzed above showed the attempt to prevent the love of Ophelia for Hamlet. All the cautions appeared to be useless and love was the winner in this struggle. As it was shown in the further scene under consideration Hamlet also tried to pretend that he was not in love with Ophelia. The author proved that nothing can stop this feeling. The concept of love was the background for the destiny of the play’s characters.

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The third scene discussed above disclosed the death of Hamlet’s beloved person, Ophelia. Shakespeare managed to show what pain can be caused by the death of the significant other. He showed how miserable a person can be when he realized that he would never see his beloved woman again. The analysis of the scenes where the concept of love is mostly vivid proved that love is the highest feeling which changes the human inner world and makes a person be completely uncontrolled by thoughts but be in captivity of his beloved significant other. Love is the powerful feeling in the world giving us a sense of life and taking it away.

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StudyCorgi. (2021, October 12). Love in “Hamlet” Play by William Shakespeare. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/love-in-hamlet-play-by-william-shakespeare/

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"Love in “Hamlet” Play by William Shakespeare." StudyCorgi, 12 Oct. 2021, studycorgi.com/love-in-hamlet-play-by-william-shakespeare/.

1. StudyCorgi. "Love in “Hamlet” Play by William Shakespeare." October 12, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/love-in-hamlet-play-by-william-shakespeare/.


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StudyCorgi. 2021. "Love in “Hamlet” Play by William Shakespeare." October 12, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/love-in-hamlet-play-by-william-shakespeare/.

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StudyCorgi. (2021) 'Love in “Hamlet” Play by William Shakespeare'. 12 October.

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