hamlet | Heathcliff (Wuthering Heights) | Iago

Does Hamlet Love Ophelia?

Summary: Although Hamlet denies his love for Ophelia in Shakespeare's play "Hamlet," it is possible to realize that he never stopped loving her. In his ploy to make those around him believe that he was mad, Hamlet sacrificed his love for Ophelia, hurting her when he did not want to hurt her. Hamlet's true feelings are revealed through his letters and his argument with Laertes after Ophelia's death.

The word love is a powerful one, both in real life, and in Shakespeare's play Hamlet. It is often a confusing concept, made even harder to grasp when one of the lovers repeatedly changes his/her mind. In Hamlet's case, his feelings towards Ophelia veer from love, to never loved, to always love. This cycle of emotions is due to Hamlet feigning madness. The time period in which Hamlet claimed to Ophelia that he never loved her, was that in which his rage at his uncle was constantly increasing. Although Hamlet denies his love for Ophelia, it is possible to realize that he never stopped loving her. Hamlet's love for Ophelia is first introduced to the reader by Ophelia herself: "He hath, my lord, of late made many tenders of his affection to me."(pg. 43 line 100) Hamlet has corresponded with Ophelia and demonstrated the love he feels for her. Even at this point in the play, Hamlet, without even having been seen around Ophelia, seems to be a bit distant. This distance he forces between himself and Ophelia is in part due to the fact that her brother and father are so overly protective of her. Ophelia claims that Hamlet has confirmed his love for her "with almost all the holy vows of heaven." (pg.45 line 115) Ophelia's words that he does love her in this first act, are extremely important when looking atthe play as a whole because they allow the reader to understand Hamlet's relationship with Ophelia. Ophelia's statement shows thatHamlet has talked to her about love and they both feel they love each other. The reason for Hamlet's distance from Ophelia is revealed with the progression of the play. As Ophelia tells Polonius: He took me by the wrist and held me hard. Then goes he to the length of all his arm, and, with his other hand thus o'er his brow he falls to such perusal of my face as 'a would draw it. Long stayed he so. At last, a little shaking of mine arm and thrice his head thus waving up and down, he raised a sigh so piteous and profound as it did seem to shatter all his bulk and end his being. That done, he lets me go, and with his head over hisshoulder turned he seemed to find his way without his eyes, for out o' doors he went without their helps, and to the last bended their light on me. (pg 75 line 90ish) Ophelia's description of what happened when Hamlet came to see her, half shows Hamlet's madness, and half his love for her. Hamlet's silence towards her and his weird behavior in that scene shows his confusion as to what is going on, or as is more likely, it proves his madness with the passing of time. After Hamlet's peculiar display of affection for Ophelia, she doesn't allow him to "access" her and doesn't accept his letters. Ophelia's rejection to Hamlet's proposal of love was the definite catalyst for Hamlet'sdenial of his love for her later on in the play. Her refusal of him, adds to Hamlet's stress and results in him using Ophelia as the person he lets out his frustration on. Proof of his infatuation with Ophelia is given when Polonius brings one of Hamlet's letters to the queen and king. On the letter, Hamlet has written: "To the celestial and my soul's idol, the most beautified Ophelia ... Doubt thou the stars are fire, doubt that the sun doth move, doubt truth to be a liar, but never doubt I love." (pg. 85 line 109) This far in the play, this is the most direct proof of his love that the reader sees. In this letter, Hamlet was sure that Ophelia would be the only recipient and he was able to express his

His true feelings shone through his letters and after her death. but only feigned that he didn't for the purpose of tricking those around him. In this part of the play. By far. Hamlet disguised his feelings for Ophelia.true and honest feelings. Of course. I have remembrances of yours. the tame indulgence of Edgar. Hamlet wavers in his display of love because he sees that others are "studying" his every move. and they also hurt Ophelia. Hamlet never stopped loving Ophelia. (pg 123 line 94) This conversation between Hamlet and Ophelia is the first time that the reader is able to observe how Ophelia and Hamlet are towards each other. Hamlet says them anyway. The same method of grieving suggests that he loved Ophelia with all his might. But as the play progresses. and that his denial of love for her had an underlying reason. Ophelia: My lord. given that a bit earlier in the play he announced he was going to do so. Knowing this. Forty thousand brothers could not with all their quantity of love make up my sum". This scene is when the reader starts questioning whether or not Hamlet really is crazy and whether he means what he says to Ophelia. now receive them. The times when they both encountered each other. It is most like that Hamlet is acting crazy. that I have longed long to redeliver. Hamlet grieves for Ophelia the way he grieved for his father. ROMANTIC LOVE IN WUTHERING HEIGHTS Romantic love takes many forms in Wuthering Heights: the grand passion of Heathcliff and Catherine. the coupleism of Hindley and Frances. the reader is struck again with the fact that Hamlet loves her. If not Hamlet. Hamlet also seems to know that he is being watched or he wouldn't abruptly change or try to hide his affections for Ophelia. since they are being closely watched by Claudius and Polonius. and who is more hurt by her death. Hamlet must've never stopped loving her. His words of denial are self-deteriorating to him. Hamlet says. Hamlet sacrificed his love for Ophelia. "I loved Ophelia. proving that the king was guilty for his father's death). Hamlet: No. . the insipid sentimental languishing of Lockwood. In his ploy to make those around him believe that he was mad. Hamlet's craziness (or even his crazy act) makes the reader believe that he still loves her. Upon reading this. he knew that the eyes of the king were watching him. To conclude that he went mad right after stating that he would "act" so is hard. it can't possibly be how the two really are around each other. but the circumstances surrounding their relationship caused it to be ended in an unfavorable manner. although he denies that he ever loved Ophelia. because of his paranoia that everyone is working against him (which he is partly right about). whom he loved dearly. not I. At Ophelia's burial. Ophelia at least is in some way different. I never gave you aught. I pray you. Laertes and Hamlet argue about who loved Ophelia more. the most important passage that proves Hamlet's love for Ophelia is in act 5. and hurt her when he didn't want to. so in an effort to cover his true intentions (ie. the romantic infatuation of Isabella.

it does not exist in life. The love-relationship of Heathcliff and Catherine. and claims of others. it is the passion of Heathcliff and Catherine that most readers respond to and remember and that has made this novel one of the great love stories not merely of English literature but of European literature as well. are ultimately self-centered and ignore the needs." in her discussion of romantic love. to give oneself unreservedly to another and gain a whole self or sense of identity back. and to be loved in this way forever. with the possible exception of Hareton and Cathy." a song which Bush wrote." I list below a number of interpretations of their love/ostensible love. This type of passion-love can be summed up in the phrase more--and still more . called Heathcliff's feelings "perverted passion and passionate perversity.the puppy love of Cathy and Linton."  A life-force relationship. unfulfillable. HEATHCLIFF AND CATHERINE: TRUE LOVERS? Despite the generally accepted view that Heathcliff and Catherine are deeply in love with each other. For C. shall we say? two halves of a single soul– forever sundered and struggling to unite. what matters is the lovers' own feelings and needs. This question raises another. their love has passed into popular culture.  Soulmates. two people who have an affinity for each other which draws them togehter irresistibly. These lovers. has become an archetype. Day Lewis. Clifford Collins calls their love a life-force relationship. and MTV showcased the lovers in a musical version. for example. the question of whether they really love each other has to be addressed. the agony of two souls–or rather. Simone de Beauvois cites Catherine's cry. a principle that is not conditioned by anything but itself. Heathcliff repeatedly calls Catherine his soul. It is a principle because the relationship is of an ideal nature. "I am Heathcliff. Kate Bush and Pat Benetar both recorded "Wuthering Heights. so that nothing else in the world matters. Catherine's conventional feelings for Edgar Linton and his superficial appeal contrast with her profound love for Heathcliff. and the flirtatious sexual attraction of Cathy and Hareton. to be all-in-all for each other." Their relationship expresses "the impersonal essence of personal . and movie adaptations of the novel include a Mexican and a French version. for it is insatiable. it expresses the passionate longing to be whole. which is "an acceptance of identity below the level of consciousness. feelings. and unrelenting in its demands upon both lovers. what kind of love--or feeling--is Emily Brontë depicting? Her sister Charlotte. though as in many statements of an ideal this principle has implications of a profound living significance. Such a love is not necessarily fortunate or happy. but not that of the other lovers. Heathcliff and Catherine "represent the essential isolation of the soul. they are soul mates. Nevertheless. Their love exists on a higher or spiritual plane. In addition.

and in it" (Ch. I'm wearying to escape into that glorious world. I should not seem part of it" (Ch. Polhemus sees Brontë's religion of love as individualistic and capitalistic: Wuthering Heights is filled with a religious urgency–unprecedented in British novels–to imagine a faith that might replace the old.existence. Freud explained this urge as an inherent part of love: "At the height of being in love the boundary between ego and object threatens to melt away. What were the use of my creation if I were entirely contained here? My great miseries in this world have been Heathcliff's miseries. This need for fusion motivates Heathcliff's determination to "absorb" Catherine's corpse into his and for them to "dissolve" into each other so thoroughly that Edgar will not be able to distinguish Catherine from him. This use of love would explain the inexorable connection between love and death in the characters' speeches and actions. and to be always there. Dying. a complete and unified identity. by a desperate assertion of identity based on the other? Catherine explains to Nelly: . if all else remained. an existence of yours beyond you. 125). Their love is an attempt to break the boundaries of self and to fuse with another to transcend the inherent separateness of the human condition. 64). and Emily Brontë's secret. and. and their relationships with others by finding meaning in their relationship with each other. or should be.. fusion with another will by uniting two incomplete individuals create a whole and achieve new sense of identity. social institutions. the Universe would turn to a mighty stranger. Against all the evidence of his senses. Brontë provides the relationship of Hareton and Cathy to integrate the principle into everyday life."  Love as religion. providing a shield against the fear of death and the annihilation of personal identity or consciousness. If all else perished. and yearning for it through the walls of an aching heart. ix. p. a man who is in love declares ‘I' and 'you' are one.surely you and everybody have a notion that there is. I should still continue to be. Robert M.  Creating meaning. my great thought in living is himself. xv. Are Catherine and Heathcliff rejecting the emptiness of the universe. not seeing it dimly through tears. p. tired of being enclosed here. This fact explains why Catherine and Heathcliff several times describe their love in impersonal terms.. and he were annihilated. and heremained. Catherine again confides to Nelly her feelings about the emptiness and torment of living in this world and her belief in a fulfilling alternative: "I'm tired.  Transcending isolation. Love has become a religion in Wuthering Heights. and is prepared to behave as if it were a fact." an essence which Collins calls the life-force. and I watched and felt each from the beginning. Because such feelings cannot be fulfilled in an actual relationship. is the raging heresy that has become common in modern . but really with it. Cathy's "secret" is blasphemous. in the novel.

Nobody else's heaven is good enough.. Heathdiff says late in the book. and surrounding herself with clocks stopped at twenty to nine. causes the addict withdrawal symptoms. . Catherine. An addictive love wants to break down the boundaries of identity and merge with the lover into one identity. Miss Havisham Character Study Summary: Miss Havisham in Charles Dickens' Great Expectations is the wealthy. for example. As a young woman. She deliberately raises Estella to be the tool of her revenge. imaginative power. eccentric old woman living in the manor called Satis House near Pip's village. on the other hand. who are emotionally unstable. eccentric old woman living in the manor called Satis House near Pip's village. and that of others is altogether unvalued and uncoveted by me!" . The person that rejected her was Compeyson. "I have nearly attained my heaven. a healthy love. often extreme ones like illness. She is manic and often seems insane. Miss Havisham was jilted by her fianc? minutes before her wedding. and love. keeping a decaying feast on her table. walking around her house in a faded wedding dress. Echoing Cathy. lies in personal desire. Lacking inner resources. but necessary. As a young woman.. whether through rejection or death. calls her relationship "a source of little visible delight. Miss Havisham was jilted by her fiancé minutes before her wedding.. walking around her house in a faded wedding dress. or who are isolated and have few interests are especially vulnerable to addictions. or in himself. and faintness. Love as addiction. and now she wants revenge against all men. love addicts look outside themselves for meaning and purpose. Even if the initial pleasure and sense of fulfillment or satisfaction does not last. is capable of putting the needs of the beloved first.. What exactly does he mean by addiction? An addiction exists when a person's attachment to a sensation. The addict wants possession of the lover regardless of the consequences to the loved one. training her to break men's hearts. the love-addict is driven by need and clings desperately to the relationship and the lover. if it is possible. Is what Catherine and Heathcliff call love and generations of readers have accepted as Ideal Love really an addiction? Stanton Peele argues that romantic or passion love is in itself an addiction. so that he has become increasingly dependent on that experience as his only source of gratification. not eating.. She is manic and often seems insane. an object. and surrounding herself with clocks stopped at twenty to nine." The loss of the lover. Individuals who lack direction and commitment. or another person is such as to lessen his appreciation of and ability to deal with other things in his environment.The hope for salvation becomes a matter of eroticized private enterprise.life: redemption. and now she wants revenge against all men. keeping a decaying feast on her table. usually in people similar to themselves. Miss Havisham is the wealthy.

Yet he is more slippery than a grand conqueror. and she had long bridal flowers in her hair. The first part of his surname conjures associations with fiery energies. Her shoes were white. as in the stoking of a . She has a very large house and a maid called Estella. Alec is the nemesis and downfall of Tess’s life. within and without. This duplicity of character is so intense in Alec. white dependent from her hair. Miss Havisham is a listless person who can't forgive men. when he quickly abandons his newfound Christian faith upon remeeting Tess. enforcing the fact that bad behaviour can only be redeemed by repentance and sorrow for another's pain. His full last name. His first name." This shows that she is extremely depressed and has given up on her life so she has become cold in the way she speaks and moves to give the appearance of having dropped. under the weight of a crushing blow. and Miss Havisham are hurt by her actions and suffer greatly but she is redeemed at the end of the novel when she realizes she has caused Pip's heart to be broken in the same way as her own heart was and instead of achieving revenge she has only caused more pain. body and soul. the divided and duplicitous character of Alec is evident to the very end of the novel. and forget the past. body and soul.satin. His supposed conversion may only be a new role he is playing. All of the clocks in her house are paused on the time of when she was rejected and she still dresses in her wedding clothes. Indeed. After all. whose origins are simpler than their pretensions to grandeur. she is very rich. within and without. and with a dead lull upon her. Alec d’Urberville Character Study An insouciant twenty-four-year-old man. This shows that the event had a very big impact on her life and has stopped her from moving forward but instead made her stop and be depressed for the rest of her life. "She was dressed in rich materials . While he is playing she asks Estella to break his heart. She does this because she is trying to get revenge on all men because of when one man broke her heart. She invited Pip into her house to watch him play. lace and silk of all white. Another reason for inviting Pip to play is to see him happy. "She spoke so low. this is because she is sodepressed she can't be happy herself so she needs to see someone else happy to try and recover memories of before she was married. Miss Havisham immediately begs Pip for forgiveness. Even though she is sad and lonely. symbolizes the split character of his family. sincerely.Miss Havisham is a woman living in her past. before she got paused in time to when she was happy herself. altogether she had the appearance of having dropped. heir to a fortune. suggests the conqueror—as in Alexander the Great—who seizes what he wants regardless of moral propriety." This quote shows the way she still dwells on the past and also shows she was a rich woman because of how expensive the materials she had on her wedding day were. that he becomes diabolical. Stoke-d’Urberville. Pip. It is hard to believe Alec holds his religion. or anything else. and only wears one shoe because when she had learned of his betrayal she had not yet put on the other shoe. She was rejected by the groom on her wedding day and can't move on. And she had a long. and bearer of a name that his father purchased. Towards the end Estella. Alexander. Stokes is a blunt and inelegant name. under the weight of a crushing blow. and its consequences for Tess so severe.

Later on. In Chapter XII. A little bit earlier. and he threatens to return Venice. Iago loved Desdemona.3536. This shows how he doesn't care what the consequences are to anybody else are. the most powerful emotion is anger. Roderigo is angry about the way he has been beaten. He believed that Othello and Desdemona should not be married and that he should be the one married to Desdemona. Later. "O beware. He mentions cuckold. like the famous depiction of Satan in Milton’s Paradise Lost. Othello vents most of his anger by smothering Desdemona to death when she is on her deathbed.3.44-47). His anger is so strong that he draws in Roderigo to play around with as a pawn. / He'll be as full of quarrel and offence / As my young mistress' dog. Iago's anger leads to jealousy which leads to him corrupting Othello's mind for his own personal gain. In act four. and I shall die bad. he represents a larger moral principle rather than a real individual man. which means a man cheated sexually by his wife. That cuckold lives in bliss / Who. Roderigo's anger seems to lean more towards Iago than anyone else. that's fulsome! … It is not words that shakes me thus! Pish! / Noses. like Tess herself.376-397). It all starts when Othello sees Cassio and Desdemona together and Iago starts hinting at the possibility of an affair without actually coming out and saying it. Iago continues to torment Othello about Desdemona and Cassio. which created a problem for him. Additionally. It also shows how he does not hesitate to bring anyone into his plan. but. In fact. / With that which he hath drunk tonight already. return again to Venice" (2.Confess? / Handkerchief! O devil" (4. In the end. so Cassio would get demoted. his anger is vented through violence.1. loves not his wronger…" (3. Roderigo states that he "will no longer endure it. of jealousy! / It is the green-eyes monster. “I suppose I am a bad fellow—a damn bad fellow. and lips! Is't possible? . He also goes on to kill himself. "If I can fasten but one cup upon him. Like Satan. In this quote. Some readers feel Alec is too wicked to be believable. Now my sick fool Roderigo" (2. and I have lived bad. even if it means that person's life is at stake. Othello becomes totally outraged and murders Desdemona by smothering her with a pillow. / Nor [is he] yet persuaded to put in peace what already / [he] has foolishly .Anger In The Play Uploaded by MJ23 (479) on Jul 5. and when he seduces her as the serpent in Genesis seduced Eve. Iago is telling Othello not be jealous of Desdemona. Three characters that it affects in the play are Othello. he threatens to "with no money / at all. Iago and Roderigo.” There is frank acceptance in this admission and no shame. "Lie with her? Lie on her? We say lie on her when they / belie her.3. Thus. he bluntly tells Tess. he revels in them. I was born bad. at the end of act two. Roderigo was unaware of the consequences is quite upset about Iago not informing him of everything. but Othello and her were already married. it is just the matter of how he achieves his own way. This hatred and anger towards Othello causes him to falsely convince Othello that Cassio and Desdemona are having an affair. Here. All the characters vent their anger through violence and confrontations. his anger is vented though non-physical violence. This also leads him to hate Othello (1. Lie with her? Zounds. ears. due to Iago falsely convincing him that Cassio and Desdemona are having an affair.3. The idea of jealousy probably wouldn't have entered his mind if it were not for Iago saying that.41-43)! This shows that Othello is becoming completely overwhelmed by his passion and is getting very angry with Cassio and Desdemona. that he thought he could overcome. my lord. Iago had made Roderigo draw Cassio into a fight. Othello . Alec symbolizes the base forces of life that drive a person away from moral perfection and greatness. 2004 In the play Othello. certain of his fate. Thus. he does want him to be jealous. His devilish associations are evident when he wields a pitchfork while addressing Tess early in the novel.357-358). like Satan. In the beginning. Roderigo is upset with Iago because he believes that Iago has cheated him. in all probability. as it plays a vital role.3.furnace or the flames of hell. Iago also brings up the idea of Desdemona cheating on him here. Alec does not try to hide his bad qualities. which doth mock / The meat it feeds on.163-166). His anger slowly built up during the play. however in reality. He had him draw Cassio into a fight to get Cassio fired. This emotion helps to establish the plot. and a little more wit.

Paul matures from a boy into a man not only physically but also mentally.272). She didn't look" (p. and the fine hair lifted from it" (p.269). due to their age difference and their different perceptions of life. It is therefore obvious that anger plays a vital role in the play Othello. Without it.269). Paul is not only attracted by Clara. Sadly. Roderigo is overwhelmed with anger and rage that he and Cassio engage in a scuffle and Roderigo ends up wounding Cassio. Another great reason for the failure of their relationship is the fact that Clara is married. his anger is vented through violence. and how her shoulder curved handsomely under the thin muslin at the top of her arm". Roderigo just keeps getting more angry with Iago. whenever he heard Miriam speak about Clara he "rouse" and would get "slightly angry" (p. Paul's Relationship with Clara in Sons and Lovers Paul's relationship with Clara is based on passion. At the beginning of act five.3.270). but he is also curious to find out about her since he has never met a woman like her before: "A hot wave went over Paul. She intended to scorn him" (p. 277).268). "Evidently his eagerness to be early today had been the newcomer" (p. while she in a way was annoyed by him: "She did not mind if he observed her hands. He was self-conscious in her presence while she most of the time acted as if he was not there: "Paul was rather self-conscious because he knew Clara could see if she looked out the window. looking at him indifferently" (p. He is not sure about what he wants in the beginning for . Unlike him.269). Thus. During their relationship. He was curious about her" (p.suffered" (4. there would theoretically be no violence and no story line.177-179). unlike Miriam who is afraid of any physical contact and his mother who is not in a position to offer him such things. This play revolves around anger and the result of it being violence. Not only was he eager to meet her but "There was something he hankered after". Her womanliness impresses him from the first time that they meet and throughout their relationship. Clara was quite indifferent towards Paul in the beginning: "She rose. When Paul had to go to Willey farm to meet Clara he was very excited even though at that stage of his life he was seeing Miriam. Since Paul has never had any sexual experiences Clara amazes him thoroughly because she is so sensual. It is rather curious how in the beginning Paul is obsessed with Clara's body: "He noticed how her breasts swelled inside her blouse. When he entered the parlour the first thing he noticed was "the nape of her white neck. their relationship falls apart.

he knew the curves of her breasts and shoulders as if they were moulded inside him. But even though both of them considered each other only friends the volume of verse that Clara gave Paul for his birthday "brought them closer into intimacy" (p. he could almost feel her as if she were present.307).319). see them.304). warning him that sooner or later he would have to ask one woman or another" Paul and Clara's relationship developed into a `friendship' at the beginning and "owing to his acquaintance with Clara" he had "more or less got into connection with the socialist. Thus their relationship helped make Paul more openminded and more social.314). She too hated him at times and was extremely jealous of his friendship with the other girls at Jordan's but "the blithe ignorance in which he trespassed through her private places disarmed her anger" (p. he stayed with Miriam. came that thickening and quickening of his blood. almost contain them" (p. Radford.314). a new self or a new centre of consciousness. Till this point in their `friendship' there were no signs of anything more than friendship. Once they were comfortable enough with the home condition Mrs.319). "He pondered over this" (p. The first such sign is made by Clara when Paul goes to her house to deliver a message. And yet he did not positively desire her. She would "smile at him. It was only friendship between man and woman.321) and in the end took her advice and went back to Miriam. His major concern though at that time was that he wanted and needed physical relationship as well: "Often. Clara's mother. such as any civilised persons might have" (p. thinking she might need his help" (p. feel them. When Clara opened the door and saw Paul "she flushed deeply" and was " much embarrassed" (p.306) and this he disliked. Although Paul feels like this about Clara he does not know what he wants and cannot interpret his feelings.306) and he found her provocative "because of the knowledge she seemed to possess. and gathered fruit of experience he could not attain" (p. but due to the fact that Clara did not seem to take much interest in him. He was filled with warmth of her.317). In the glow.301). told Paul that Clara would like to go back and work at Jordan's and he "experienced a thrill of joy. which she considered miserable. He would have denied it for ever. On the other hand "there was a sense of mystery about her" (p.316-317).he believes that unlike Miriam Clara is not deep and thus does not want to absorb him. "he believed in simple friendship. But when she did come to work at Jordan's he felt how he could not concentrate in her presence because "although she stood a yard away. and was full of warmth" (p. he battled with her. her shoulders. Also due to the fact that he does not know what he wants he denied the fact that he desired Clara: "He grew warm at the thought of Clara. Paul is excited by the idea that not only would he help her get the job but also by the fact that he would be able to see more of her. This was attributed to her home's condition.301). inwardly" but she would always keep in mind that he was such "a young boy" (p. He believed himself really bound to Miriam" (p. And he considered that he was perfectly honorable with regard to her. as he talked to Clara Dawes. her arms. When he opened the present "He was suddenly intensely moved. Clara understood his confusion and told him to try and give his relationship with Miriam another try. as if something were alive there. that peculiar concentration in the breast. her bosom. unitarian people in Nottingham" (p. . sufferagette. he felt as if he were pressed against her.

leaving herself in his hands" (p. "She looked at him.347).354). On the way there Paul hardly constrained himself not to kiss her and he felt like "he was not himself. They very soon realised that "They had grown very intimate.347) and when they were apart he could not wait to see her again: "He was in a delirium. But she was rather afraid of the self-possession of the Morels. The most important `walk' of their relationship is when they went to the Trent. He flashed with a small laugh. and "After leaving Miriam he went almost straight to Clara" (p. her eyes were half shut. There was nothing in the afternoon but themselves" (p. he was some attribute of hers. Paul at last decided that it was time to introduce Clara to his family. He felt the station people. lonely cows over the river.348).The relationship between him and Miriam did not work out once again.363). He felt that he would go mad if Monday did not come at once. It was some minutes before they withdrew" (p. They were safe enough from all but the small.355). who knew him. After this sexual experience "He was madly in love with her: every movement she made. He sunk his mouth on her throat.353). their bodies were sealed and annealed. shut his eyes.356). eyed her with awe and admiration" (p.347). Clara enjoyed herself but "there was a fear deep at the bottom of her" as she realised .355) and as he led her there "His heart beat thick and fast" (p. Her mouth fused with his. whole kiss. every crease in her garments sent a hot flash through him and seemed adorable" (p. and it was a pleasure to her.367). like the sunshine that fell on her" (p. her breast was tilted as if it asked for him. between their roots" (p. Paul led her to a quite place were "two beech trees side by side on the hill held a little level on the upper face. And in a way Paul was very proud that she was his: "His pride went up as he walked with her. Both of them could not get enough of each other. Once they reached the place "He held her fast as he looked round. father and all" (p. and met her with a long. where he felt her heavy pulse beat under his lips. On Monday he would see her again" (p.351). Everything was perfectly still. Once at the Trent they could not stop touching and kissing each other: "Her mouth was offered to him.353). Whenever he touched her "his whole body was quivering with sensation" (p. She was warmly received when she went. and she "felt she completed the circle. unawares" and that there was "a sort of secret understanding between them" (p. and her throat.

the something. Paul as well realised this: "It seemed as if he had known the baptism of fire in passion. He was not safe to her.how much of her Paul possessed and how obsessed with him she was: "it was torture not to be able to follow him down the garden" (p. But it was not Clara. Here is where the informal end of their relationship is. Both of them could not allow themselves this relationship. He might leave her. She had not got him. When both of them were in the garden Miriam came. Clara seeing this tells him.383). a relationship that she can be sure of. Clara realises that she wants something permanent. Even after this evening their relationship continued declining as they realised that they did not have the same definition of love and the same feelings for each other. but it was not her" (p. This enraged him even more and he aggressively and passionately started kissing her but she determined to catch the last train told him to stop.371). It was something that happened because of her. which she was mad to have" (p. she had not realised fully. During one night of passion Clara realised that there was something great between them but "it did not keep her" (p. she achieves this later when she . she wanted something permanent.398). but she had not gripped the .398). "In the morning it was not the same. She felt the cruelty of it" (p. They had known but she could not keep the moment.367). This that had been between them might never be again. she wanted it again. even being with one another was "intense almost to agony" (p. "You'd better run after Miriam" (p. She was not satisfied. This is how their relationship continued from then on with a lot of passion and less understanding. She thought it was he whom she wanted. and the way Clara spoke about her after she had left made him furious. Once she got on the last train "He was gone. The evening after they went to the theater showed the decline of their relationship. and it left him at rest. She had been there.373). she knew not what.399). Clara is a married woman and her obsession with Paul hurts her and he feels that he cannot possess all of her wants even more from her.

it is not the angel who guides the human in this novel. "But she never believed that her life belonged to Paul Morel. although at the cost of her own life. but the human who instructs the angel. He is a secularist who yearns to work for the “honor and glory of man. Angel is not quite of this world. is one expression of his disdain for tradition. His love for Tess.” as he tells his father in Chapter XVIII. They would separate in the end. as we guess when he calls her “Daughter of Nature” or “Demeter. The narrator says that Angel shines rather than burns and that he is closer to the intellectually aloof poet Shelley than to the fleshly and passionate poet Byron. The problem arises from the Poet's unrivalled genius in the creation of characters. Ironically. and the rest of her life would be an ache after him" (p. nor his to her. Angel awakens to the actual complexities of realworld morality after his failure in Brazil. Hamlet’s madness The mooted question of the Prince's sanity has divided the readers of Shakespeare into two opposing schools. This independent spirit contributes to his aura of charisma and general attractiveness that makes him the love object of all the milkmaids with whom he works at Talbothays. a mere milkmaid and his social inferior. Angel represents a rebellious striving toward a personal vision of goodness. As his name—in French. In the end both of them realised that a future between them was impossible: "Each wanted a mate to go side by side with" (p. and sets off in search of his own.405). and he fervently believes in the nobility of man. and the other an unfeigned madness. Angel sees human society as a thing to be remolded and improved.returns to her husband. A typical young nineteenth-century progressive. Paul here too realises that he does not love Clara and that she is not the one for him. Durbeyfield’s easygoing moral beliefs are much more easily accommodated to real lives such as Tess’s. the one defending a feigned. He rejects the values handed to him. but floats above it in a transcendent sphere of his own. His love for Tess may be abstract.” Tess may be more an archetype or ideal to him than a flesh and blood woman with a complicated life. close to “Bright Angel”—suggests. and only then he realizes he has been unfair to Tess. His moral system is readjusted as he is brought down to Earth. Angel Clare A freethinking son born into the family of a provincial parson and determined to set himself up as a farmer instead of going to Cambridge like his conformist brothers. So vivid were his conceptions of his ideal . rather than for the honor and glory of God in a more distant world. she proves this by telling him that she will not divorce Baxter and that he belongs to her.405). Angel’s ideals of human purity are too elevated to be applied to actual people: Mrs.

cautioned them against betrayal. even in its minutest symptoms. The Poet with consummate art has so portrayed the abnormal actions of a demented mind. considers him only as an ideal existence. he has in consequence depicted the court of Claudius divided in opinion on Hamlet's feigned or unfeigned madness. and be summoned to court on trial of his sanity. on the contrary. are accustomed to look upon him as real and actual as the men they daily meet in social intercourse. just as the Shakespearean world is divided today. If the court firmly believed in the dementia of the Prince. ignoring the different impersonations of Hamlet upon the public stage. that before beginning to enact the role of madman. Claudius. The critics of the one. that a real madman could not enact the character more perfectly. endowed with our human emotions and passions. he suspected the concealment of some evil design under Hamlet's mimic madness. we see on the opposite side others with the astute king and an overwhelming majority of Shakespeare's readers. he had never throughout his life exhibited the least symptom of dementia. or persons walking among us. If today we find eminent physicians standing with Polonius and the Queen in the belief of Hamlet's real madness.creations that. when moving among his intimate friends. actually living and acting in them. and subject to the vicissitudes of our common mortality. but only that by his perfect impersonation he succeeded in creating this belief. and Polonius. unmindful of the fact that Hamlet is wholly an ideal existence. and so truly pictured all the traits of genuine madness. The confounding of this ideal with the real has given rise to two divergent schools. stood firm in his doubt from the first. but. That many physicians should deem the Prince's madness a reality is nothing surprising. Let a man mimic madness as perfectly as Hamlet. he is . If it be shown by judicial evidence. who was of a deeper and more penetrating mind and an adept in crafty cunning. and places the solution of the problem in the discovery of the dramatist's intention in the creation of the character. if it be proved that on every occasion. and that such was his purpose is clear from the play. The other school. is no proof of his real madness. The consciousness of his guilt made him alert and. he had actually summoned his trusted friends. To say that the Queen. like a criminal ever fearing detection. informed them of his purpose. was known as a man of a sound and strong mind. Well known are the celebrated legal cases in which medical specialists of the highest rank were divided in judgment on the sanity or insanity of the man on trial. he gives them an objective existence in which they seem living realities. and accordingly judge him as they would a man in ordinary life. if it be shown that before assuming the antics of a madman. and others thought him mad. Conscious of his skill in this portrayal so true to life. and even sworn them to secrecy.

while highly magnifying the powers of the artist. If then all natural knowledge originates in sense perception. who. It is therefore more reasonable to infer that his accurate knowledge of traits which are common to the demented was not solely the . is. [The document is a record of a lawsuit of a Huguenot family with whom Shakespeare boarded. and if it be shown on reputable testimony that he entered upon his course of dementia to guard an incommunicable secret. If. London. The dictum of Aristotle: "There are no ideas in our intellect which we have not derived from sense perception. born into dramatic life. it is thought. directly opposite a medical college near which was an insane asylum. since Shakespeare's day. to reproduce them in himself any more than the many tragedians. Here. could so observe and remember all the abnormal symptoms of insanity as to reproduce them. His portrayal is admittedly true to nature. but was due to his observation of these symptoms existing in real human beings. why should it be beyond the power of an ideal Hamlet. by studying the antics of the inmates. The character. as Lowell has well remarked. however. contrary to psychological facts. Such a notion.] From it we learn that Shakespeare lived on Muggleton Street. Shakespeare himself without being mad.consistently sane. he fears." has become an axiom of rational philosophy. The mad role that Hamlet plays to perfection. will thwart his secret design. and feigns madness only in the presence of those who. difficult and dangerous of attainment. and to shield himself in the pursuit of a specified end. They depend upon their objective realities no less than does an image upon the thing which it images. and it is true to nature because a reflex or reproduction of what he himself had witnessed in demented unfortunates. Shakespeare's perfect knowledge of the symptoms of insanity was not the product of his imagination alone. such a man on such evidence would in open court be declared beyond all doubt sane and sound of mind by the unanimous verdict of any specially impanelled jury. This fact has been placed beyond reasonable doubt by a legal document which was recently discovered in the Roll's Office. and in whose interest he appeared several times as a sworn witness in court. Our ideas are mental images of things perceived by the senses. unless we be prepared to maintain that no one save a madman can simulate dimentia. is nothing more than the outward expression of the Poet's subjective and purely mental creation. when engaged in the creation of his mad characters. is certainly a proof of Shakespeare's genius. have so successfully mimicked the madness of the Prince upon the public stage? The perfect portrayal of Hamlet's mad role has been ascribed to the unaided genius of Shakespeare. he had every opportunity to draw from nature. but by no means a surety of the insanity of the Prince.

In our doubt we may turn for light to other dramas wherein he portrays demented characters with equal skill. not only clear proofs of Ophelia's madness. as told in the old runic rhymes of the Norsemen. nor seek to conceal the cause of their distress." Both Lear and Ophelia are portrayed as genuinely mad. the question of his real or pretended madness can be solved only by ascertaining the intention of the Poet. the victim of his uncle's treachery. differs surprisingly from the pathetic inanities of the gentle Ophelia. but also. supreme ingratitude. and of the feigned insanity of Edgar. and both. Considering moreover the exigencies of the plot and counterplots. are ever on the alert to conceal it. they disclose no purpose nor design in their madness. Nowhere can we find more striking elements of contrast and resemblance than in Lear and Ophelia. in Ophelia. but rather the result of his studied observations of individual cases. As in the drama of Lear. In Lear. enacts in his banishment the role of a fool with a perfection which eludes discovery. blighting the affections of a fond and overconfiding parent. the Poet has left no possible doubt of the real madness of the king. has over-powered her feelings. yet Shakespeare leaves no doubt of the genuine madness of the one and the other. the victim of a brother's treachery. so also we may reasonably expect to find in hisTragedy of Hamlet. Far otherwise is it with Edgar and with Hamlet. a comparison of the nature of their madness may be a flash of light in darkness. deceive by his mimic madness all but the crafty King. Since Hamlet then on the testimony of medical experts exhibits accurately all the symptoms of dementia. whose "noble and most sovereign reason" she has seemingly blasted by rejecting his importunate suit. We may safely assume that a dramatist so renowned in his art has not left us in darkness concerning a factor most important in this drama. unlike Hamlet. has wrecked his noble mind. the loss of a father by the hand of a lover. The first of these indications is the fact that the assumed madness of Hamlet is in conformity with the original story. because its discovery would frustrate the object of their pursuit. far from revealing the real cause of their grief. The grandeur of Lear in his sublime outbursts of a mighty passion. and nevertheless. so does Hamlet. Both. enter upon their feigned madness for an expressed specific purpose. If Edgar. . On the contrary they always have on their lips utterances which directly or indirectly reveal the reason of their mental malady. and left her "divided from herself and her fair judgment. sufficient indications of the Prince's feigned dementia. or mere beasts. Both are pictured as feigning madness. Hence.product of his imagination. without the which we're pictures. unlike Lear and Ophelia.

Another luminous index is Hamlet's intercourse with his school-fellow and sole bosom friend. surely knew his mental condition. here and there. the scholarly Horatio. there is nothing even to suggest the notion of dementia. and Horatio.the role of madman seems evidently forced upon him. does he lapse in his frequent monologues into irrelevant and incoherent speech. But it is remarkably strange that never. nevertheless. intended. he realized that the world had changed about him. he would certainly have left room for doubt. As soon as he had recovered from the terrible and overpowering agitation of mind and feelings with which the ghostly revelation had afflicted him. in the portrayal of Hamlet's antic disposition. not indifferently. like the insane. if possible. in them were surely offered ample opportunities to expose. to expose to us the truth as known alone to himself and to Hamlet's initiated friends. the dramatist had of necessity to portray the hero's madness with all the traits of a real affliction. Throughout the first Act. welcomes the thought of hiding his real self behind the mask of a madman. he always supposes his friend to be rational. This change. The Prince throughout takes him into his confidence. therefore. and that he could no longer comport himself as before at the court of Claudius. expresses the inmost thoughts of his heart. at once confiding his purpose to his two trusted friends and swearing them to secrecy. and above all. that he himself had changed. With this in view. Had Shakespeare failed to shed this strong light upon Hamlet's purpose. by a flashlight here and there. But he must play his role." Hence. by any sign or word. giving way to the intensity of his feelings. but not satisfied with this. to guide our dubious path. therefore. whether in public or in private. he feels he cannot fully conceal. It is only after the appalling revelations of the ghost. but with such perfection of truthful reality as to deceive the whole court. his design and purpose would be thereby defeated. does he manifest friendly sentiments of sorrow or . he begins to play the part and to impress upon the court the notion of his lunacy. to produce the impression of insanity. and. the astute and cunning King. wherein the Prince is pictured in acute mental grief at the loss of his loved father and the shameful conduct of his mother. yet in mutual converse. which exposed the secret criminals and his own horrid situation that he resolved to wear the mask of a madman in the furtherance of his suddenly formed plan of "revenge. he scatters through the drama other luminous marks. some trace of his supposed affliction. It seems evident that the Poet in the very concept of the plot and its development. if the court could discover Hamlet's madness to be unreal. A strong mark is found in the many soliloquies in which the Prince. and. nor use incongruous and inane words. and never. for. his arch-enemy.

because it is based upon a misinterpretation of the word madness. Once he was obliged to raise his vizor in presence of his mother. Ophelia. as he naturally would. After worming out their secret mission from the King. Again. and ready to meet cunning subterfuge with artifice at every point. they say. from Laertes for his violence against him on the plea of madness. nevertheless. The objection. if ignorant of the feigned madness of Hamlet. The madness of which Hamlet speaks in the present instance and which he pleads in excuse. and again. the King. Another striking indication is the Prince's treatment of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. Horatio is well aware that everyone assumes his friend to be demented. but also a master mind. But by unmasking himself he baffled her. when at Ophelia's grave. . If he were really mad. moreover. always sane in dealing with his friends. because true to him and to his sworn promise of secrecy. and.of sympathy. This objection is rather an argument to the contrary. he could never have preserved such perfect consistency in word and action towards so many people under rapid change of circumstances. Such was the madness of Hamlet. I know a hawk from a handsaw. He seeks pardon. in which self-control is lost for the moment. when she sought to shelter herself against his merciless moral onslaught by asserting his madness. his mighty grief was roused to wrathful expression by the unseemly and exaggerated show of Laertes. his cautious direction to Horatio. when the wind is southerly. is not a fixed mental malady. It was in the formal interview. he does nothing to dispel. for insane persons are never known to plead insanity in self-exculpation. GUILDENSTERN: In what my dear lord? HAMLET: I am but mad north-northwest. Hamlet partly lifts the veil for us in the words: HAMLET: But my uncle-father and aunt-mother are deceived. till he awakened her to the shameful sense of her criminal state and to manifest contrition. and Polonius. but what in common parlance is a madness synonymous with a sudden outburst of anger. An objection to Hamlet's sanity is sometimes seen in his own alleged confessions of madness. Hamlet's instruction to the players. when in sudden anger he slew Polonius. but rather lends himself to sustain the common delusion. is not valid. and proceeded in a terrible but righteous wrath to lacerate her dormant conscience. not only a sane. versatile in wit. display. and always simulating madness in presence of those whom he mistrusted. as well as his skillful intermittent play of madness when in the same scene he addresses Horatio.

"Men's evil passions have given tragedy to art. and engenders no love of virtue and hatred of vice. merits here a fuller consideration. It gives no intellectual pleasure. Nothing. may be so abhorrent to our world of existences. This verily is not effected by delineating the mad antics of some unfortunate whose disordered mind leaves him helpless to the mercy of the shifting winds of circumstances. If poetry be the language of passion of enlivened imagination. of mingling the ignoble with the noble. but agents free. it is true. and who as a mere automaton concentrates in his mental malady the chief elements of the tragedy and its development of plot. illumine the objective truth of Hamlet's feigned madness. A drama so constructed is intellectually and morally repugnant to human nature. This is true only when these characters are not pitiable mental wrecks. and pathetic emotions. A little reflection on the nature and principles of art will engender a repugnance to any theory of Hamlet's real madness. if its purpose be to afford intellectual pleasure by the excitement of agreeable and elevated. ugliness is clothed with a special form of art in the grotesque. Art is the expression of the beautiful. and moral admiration or aversion in every healthy mind. be brought under the domain of art. rational. though already alluded to by a few eminent critics. Such an unfortunate should not be paraded before the public gaze in defiance of the common . crime is beautified by being linked to an avenging Nemesis. stirs no pleasing emotion. and like every other art it has its canons and its principles." Even pain and suffering become attractive in the light of heroism which endures them in the cause of truth and justice. No spectator can discover in the portrayal of the irrational actions of a madman an expression of the beautiful. which. A healthy mind can find nothing but displeasure and revulsion of feeling at the sorry sight of a fellow-being whose reason is dethroned. the dramatist enjoys the privilege of portraying characters of every hue. this certainly is not accomplished by holding up to view the vagaries of a mind stricken with dementia. and responsible. amid the darkness of doubt. with the view that the contemplation of such characters will excite pleasure or displeasure. Rob the hero of intelligence and consciousness of moral responsibility. and dramatic poetry is a work of art. The prime object of tragic poetry is to expose some lofty and solemn theme so graphically that its very portrayal will awaken in our moral nature a love of virtue and a detestation of vice. This truth grows to supreme importance when viewed in relation to Shakespeare and his dramatic art. But there is still another and independent truth which. but may. In consequence. in some form or other.All these indications scattered through the drama are intermittent flashes. and of picturing life in all its varied forms. and irresponsible to the moral laws of human life. and you make the work devoid of human interest and leave it wholly meaningless.

feelings of humanity. . be relegated to the charitable care of some home or refuge. but in all kindness.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful

Master Your Semester with Scribd & The New York Times

Special offer for students: Only $4.99/month.

Master Your Semester with a Special Offer from Scribd & The New York Times

Cancel anytime.