In act one, scene three of Hamlet, Shakespeare elicits sympathy for Hamlet and Ophelia by showing all the obstacles in their path towards true love.
The scene opens with her brother Laertes offering Ophelia advice. He states, perhaps correctly, that the main reason she could not marry Hamlet or have a relationship with him is that he is a prince and thus has all the pressures of the state upon his shoulders.
His greatness weigh'd, his will is not his own;
For he himself is subject to his birth:
He may not, as unvalued persons do,
Carve for himself; for on his choice depends
The Safety and health of this whole state . . .
In Laertes's opinion, their love can only be a folly of youth. A sentiment echoed later by his father:
Set your entreatments at a higher rate
Than a command to parley. For Lord Hamlet,
Believe so much in him, that he is young
And with a large tether he may walk . . .
What's really striking, however, is how flippantly Laertes and his father...
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