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Ophelia
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Biography for
Ophelia (Character)
from Hamlet (1996)

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Ophelia is the daughter of Polonius, Lord Chamberlain of Denmark, in Shakespeare's most famous play, "Hamlet". She is in love with Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, and is also the sister of Laertes, Polonius's son. Both Laertes and Polonius believe that Hamlet's intentions toward Ophelia are dishonorable, but Hamlet is deeply in love with Ophelia, and hurt when she apparently rejects him on the orders of Polonius. The ghost of Hamlet's father, the former King of Denmark, appears and tells Hamlet that he did not die accidentally, as everyone thought: Claudius, Hamlet's uncle, has murdered the former King in order to usurp the throne and marry Hamlet's mother, Queen Gertrude. The ghost asks Hamlet to avenge the murder. Polonius hides behind a curtain and eavesdrops on Hamlet while he is bitterly denouncing the Queen for her behavior, and is unintentionally killed by Hamlet (who mistakes the eavesdropper for Claudius). Ophelia goes insane when she hears of this, and eventually drowns herself. Whether or not her death is an intentional suicide is never clearly stated, but now her brother Laertes is out for revenge.

Page last updated by critic-2, 5 years ago
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