Lost Hope The Renaissance Period, a period of adaptation and humanism, took place between 1485-1603. It was a time full of religious turmoil, and importantly a period that promoted literary talents. The theaters and arts were an educational base for the people living in this time. Not only were the theaters an educational benefit, but they were also used for entertainment. One of the most influential play creators was William Shakespeare. William Shakespeare being known as “the greatest writer in English language,” wrote plays such as Romeo and Juliet, Julius Caesar, and Hamlet (Editors of Wikipedia1).
Hamlet was a play that contained tragic twists and turns, and an immense amount of suspense. Claudius, the king of Denmark, was the character who provoked a chunk of the drama in Hamlet. He was in the position to be the “ruler,” but he did the exact opposite of his job title.
He was always into others’ business, especially his nephew’s, Hamlet. Hamlet was known to be insane, which can easily be shown through the whole play. He pursued a relationship with “the most tragic” character in the novel, Ophelia. Their relationship was a constant battle. The relationship with Hamlet, and the death of Polonius caused a mentally unstable characteristic that shined through Ophelia. Ophelia jumped in the river, committing suicide because of her pregnancy with Prince Hamlet. In the Renaissance period, religion caused people to expect great accomplishments of humans.
As known, sex before marriage is a serious sin in the church. When sins are committed, confession is usually required. As noticed, Hamlet and Ophelia spent time alone quite frequently, which convinces readers to believe Ophelia may have been pregnant.
Neither Hamlet nor Ophelia is under supervision while they are alone. No one will know what they are doing together. Knowing they spent time alone, pregnancy will most likely be the start to the unknown future. Speaking that Ophelia is pregnant, this would be a sin on both, her and Hamlet’s contribution. This would be horrific on Hamlet’s part, because Hamlet is supposed to be the role model for the town of Wittenberg, Denmark.
Hamlet and Ophelia would have trespassed the rules towards the church which would cause a terrible reputation. It would be nearly impossible for Ophelia to hide her pregnancy once she starts to show. In this case, citizens of Wittenberg will find out. Ophelia has grown up without a mother.
She has no feminine impact on her life. Mothers teach daughters how to act proper, how to use manners, and most importantly how to be treated. A lack of womanly impressions on Ophelia’s life shows that she makes some terrible decisions with Hamlet. If Ophelia had the opportunity of her mother raising her, she most likely would’ve made better decisions and thought about her future and ways to cope with a baby. Her mother would be an emotional impact and a person Ophelia could talk to, without hesitation. If Ophelia had a mother, there is only a slight possibility of Ophelia committing suicide because her mother, without a doubt, would’ve helped her through this difficult time. Circumstances are different, of course, because Ophelia’s mom isn’t present at this time in her life. Ophelia’s father is not an acceptable influence on her life.
Polonius did not teach Ophelia how to grow up. He is very demanding towards her, always telling her what to do. He does not teach her how to think and make smart decisions. Ophelia may feel alone, she isn’t able to go to Polonius because he has never been there for her in the past. She does not have positive influences in her life to help her. In addition, Hamlet’s word choices are an opening showing that Ophelia is pregnant.
Hamlet states to Polonius, “Conception is a blessing, but not as your daughter may conceive” (2.2.184). Hamlet using the words such as “conception” and “conceive” allude to pregnancy. Hamlet also says to Ophelia, “Get thee to a nunnery” (3.1.122) .
This could have two different meanings. He could be telling Ophelia to go to a brothel because she was sleeping with Hamlet and conceived a baby. This could also mean go to a church convent and have the mothers take care of you. The mothers of the church would help Ophelia in ways that Hamlet could not.
She could turn to her faith to help save her and the baby. Hamlet is known to be absolutely insane. It can be stated that Ophelia committed suicide simply because Hamlet’s actions.
Hamlet killing Polonius is a big factor in Ophelia’s decision. Growing up without a mother is strenuous, but losing her father could simply push Ophelia over the edge. Stress is placed on Ophelia and that is most likely going to cause depression and impact Ophelia’s way of thinking. Depression can alter the mind and cause hallucinations, self harm, and thoughts of suicide. Ophelia is mentally unstable and makes the decision to end, not only her life but also the baby’s partly because of Hamlet’s craziness. As shown, Ophelia had made the wrong judgement by committing suicide. Hamlet and Ophelia could have gotten married and resolved this terrible accident. Why did Ophelia think otherwise? That question may not be known, but we do know Ophelia committed suicide because she was, in fact, pregnant.
The pregnancy could have worked out if, she and Hamlet, gave it an exceptional effort. In the case of Ophelia keeping the baby, she first would have to tell Hamlet about the pregnancy. From there, they would decide the best case in scenario. The best way to resolve this problem could have been getting married. From then on, Hamlet and Ophelia would raise the baby and give it the best life possible. William Shakespeare put Ophelia in Hamlet as a guide for women. Ophelia, very well, could educate young girls and women to reach out in these circumstances. She did not have the right to sacrifice herself for her child.
Suicide is not the option.