How is Ophelia obedient in Hamlet?  

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For the most part, Ophelia acts according to the prevailing standards of her time. She's a very dutiful daughter and sister, allowing herself to be guided by Polonius and Laertes. She has no reason whatsoever to doubt that they always act in her best interests. But Ophelia is young and naive, unaware of the dangerous political game being played at the Danish court. Tragically for her, she ends up as a pawn in that game, used by Claudius and Polonius as part of an experiment to determine the cause of Hamlet's parlous psychological state.

The tawdry little experiment ends with Ophelia heartbroken and in tears, reduced to a crying mess by Hamlet 's vicious verbal onslaught. Yet still Ophelia has feelings for Hamlet despite his professed contempt for marriage. This indicates that perhaps her submissiveness comes naturally to her, that it's an expression of her personality and not just mindless conformity to the standards expected of her. It's this innate characteristic of hers that makes her all the...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 575 words.)

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