Hamlet Questions and Answers
by William Shakespeare

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In Shakespeare's Hamlet, did Hamlet love Ophelia in Acts Four and Five? Please support with examples/quotes.

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Throughout Shakespeare's play, Hamlet, the recurring question asks: is Hamlet insane or is he playing a part to prove Claudius has murdered Hamlet's father, Old Hamlet?

This point is central in deciding whether or not Hamlet loves Ophelia.

In Act One, scene v, Hamlet is very clear with Horatio that if his friend sees Hamlet acting strangely—if Hamlet "puts on an antic disposition"—Horatio must give no indication whatsoever that he is aware that Hamlet is not as mad as he is pretending to be.

Here, as before, never, so help you mercy,

How strange or odd soe'er I bear myself—

As I perchance hereafter shall think meet

To put an antic disposition on—

That you, at such times seeing me, never shall,

With arms encumber'd thus, or this head-shake... (189-194)

With this understood , even through Hamlet's depression over his father's death, we may assume that he is acting crazy so that his enemy (Claudius) will have no way of being able to tell if Hamlet is suspicious of him or simply insane....

(The entire section contains 603 words.)

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