Why did Hamlet and Ophelia's relationship break down?

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Both Hamlet and Ophelia are like leaves in a tornado to a great extent. One could argue that Ophelia would have been so regardless of Hamlet's difficulties: She was already in over her head when she fell for Hamlet because of their class difference. Perhaps their love never had a chance.

Both appear overwhelmed by their circumstance. Hamlet doesn't know who to trust, and Ophelia's naivete is almost unbearable (surely she knew when she started the relationship that her father and brother would not approve). 

Yet at the time when talk is most important, neither of them speak honestly or directly. Ophelia allows herself to be used as a pawn; Hamlet talks in code: "are you honest?", "shall I lie my head upon your lap", and "get thee to a nunnery"--all double edged comments dripping with sexual undertones. Such comments honestly reveal his anger and confusion but are too witty to shed light on his feelings for Ophelia. Ophelia doesn't understand.

The sexual innuendos here (a nunnery is code for a brothel) do suggest his mother's behaviour has coloured his view of women, and that he is angry at what seems a betrayal by them both. Yet his sexual insults reveal a deep misunderstanding of Ophelia: She loves him.

Both lovers lack trust. Neither really sees the other, and both are too fixated on their own situations to reach out and support the other. Their love is green, too new for talk and trust.

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In the beginning of Act 1, Scene 3, we find Laertes advising his sister Ophelia to stay away from Hamlet. The reason being given is class status: Ophelia does not belong to a royal family, and during the Elizabethan period, marriages amongst royals were not based on love but on political gain and advancement.

Increasingly, as the play progresses, we find Ophelia being torn between her loyalty to her father and to Hamlet. In the end we find her loyalties clearly tilted towards her father Polonius.

She becomes a victim of her father's political ambitions as well as a victim of Hamlet's feigned madness and his bitterness and suspicion toward women. Hamlet loses all faith in women after having discovered his mother's abominable marriage.

He vents all his anger on Ophelia and uses harsh, bitter language such as asking her to go join a nunnery to protect her virginity. Hamlet feels totally betrayed by Ophelia when he finds that Polonius and Claudius use her to spy on him. Thus we can conclude that Hamlet and Ophelia are clearly the victims of their circumstances.

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