Hamlet Questions and Answers
by William Shakespeare

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What is Ophelia's relationship with her father and brother like in Hamlet?    

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Thanh Munoz eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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On the surface, there does not at first appear to be anything abnormal or dysfunctional in Ophelia's relationships with her father and her brother. Both men are protective of her and concerned especially about her connection, whatever it may or may not be, with Hamlet. It is precisely this concern which accelerates the negative developments in the plot and aids in propelling the action towards tragedy.

It is open to interpretation what effect Laertes's warnings to her about Hamlet, as he takes leave of her and Polonius in act 1, scene 3 , ultimately have. Nor do we have any real way of determining what has already transpired between Ophelia and Hamlet by this point. In act 3, scene 1, when she tells him, "My lord, I have remembrances of yours / That I have longed to redeliver," we do not know if this is the precise thing that provokes his angry outburst, because he takes it as a sign that she is breaking off their relationship, as most men would think in such a situation. Or has the relationship...

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