How is Ophelia a foil as well as a parallel to Hamlet?

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Ophelia and Hamlet's lives run parallel in some key ways. Both have lost a parent prematurely, and both have suffered great disappointment at the hands of someone that he or she trusts, of the opposite sex. For Hamlet, that person is his mother; for Ophelia, that person is Hamlet. They are also both weak.

I think Hamlet would have trusted Ophelia if she would have been trustworthy, but she was not. It is difficult to conceive of the depths of her naiivite--if it is in fact that. That she could be oblivious to the events happening in the castle seems inconceivable, and yet she seems to have no inkling about how desperately Hamlet needs a friend. Instead, she allows herself to participate in a scam to trap him into revealing his feelings for her. This would suggest that Ophelia is somewhat superficial intellectually, and immature emotionally.

In this respect, she is...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 449 words.)

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