Last updated: September 24, 2019
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When A Flower Blossoms Essay, Research Paper

When a Flower Blossoms

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William Shakespeare addresses the inquiry of individuality in The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark through the characters of Hamlet and Ophelia. Although the drama is centered on Hamlet? s battle for individuality, a more of import issue is addressed through Ophelias? battle. She is ignored and left entirely to happen the truth about what it means to go a adult female, while Hamlet receives changeless concern while fighting with his individuality issues as an grownup. Her battle of individuality may be similar to his, but it is different in that she is non a adult male, but an adolescent miss who lives in a society that revolves around work forces. The disfunction of her household, impairment of her confidant relationship, ultimate decease of her male parent, and absence of a female parent figure worsen her internal battles. She is an adolescent confronting the internal struggles of credence, individuality, and dignity, which normally plague pubescent misss. Puberty for a immature miss is possibly the most hard clip of life, and is frequently misunderstood by grownups. In society, work forces receive more concern than adult females do as they struggle to adulthood, which is demonstrated through the character of Hamlet. Adolescent misss frequently feel confused about their organic structures and individuality in that they are going different from male childs for the first clip. In Ophelia? s instance, she is left wholly alone to calculate out what is go oning to her organic structure and to understand her emotions. If Ophelia were a adult male or a pubescent male child fighting with individuality as is seen in Hamlet throughout the drama, she perchance would hold survived these tragic state of affairss.

The most annihilating minute for her was when Hamlet no longer appeared to be her safe oasis. She thought that she could swear him and some how he would assist her get through her confusion of adolescence, and hence, do her manner to maturity. She proves her naivete in the manner she reacts to him when he attacks her in her room and she does non fight back, but alternatively runs to her male parent, Polonius, for comfort and safety. His motivations as a male parent are non what they need to be to assist her understand what has merely happened to her. Alternatively of soothing or explicating to her what has happened, he feels that he needs to support the thought of her being a prostitute, and more significantly his ability to raise an solid immature adult female. In Polonius? eyes, Hamlet? s onslaught represents his sentiment of her being a prostitute, which he feels must be avenged, conveying to her that she has done something incorrect. From his attempt in revenging her award, he creates more convulsion in her life when he forces her to let him and the King to descry on her with Hamlet. Hamlet tells her in ears shooting of them:

Ay, genuinely, for the power of beauty will

Sooner transform honestness from what it is to a prostitute

Than the force of honestness can interpret beauty into

His similitude. This was sometime a paradox, but now

The clip gives cogent evidence. I did love you one time. ( III.i.110-14 )

He loved her artlessness as a miss and the fact that she was non a adult female, but now that she is looking more like one, he does non love her anymore. The more of import message is that work forces are non thought of as beautiful, hence they have no ground to misdirect others. He is relaying to her that it is bad to go a adult female because her going beauty will do her dishonest. He is stating that adult females use their beauty to lead on work forces. His female parent has imbedded this idea in his head through her actions of get marrieding his uncle excessively shortly after his male parent? s decease. Hamlet feels like he has been deceived, in that his female parent is non virtuous like he imagined when his male parent was still alive. His male parent was a adult male, and hence, has been decieved by a adult female who he thought to be virtuous, his ain female parent. He now is penalizing Ophelia for being a adult female because of his female parent? s actions. For a immature miss who is covering with individuality issues, it is lay waste toing to happen out that she is traveling to grow-up to be a prostitute like the Queen and has no control over it.

If she were a turning immature male child, she would be celebrated, non doomed. She found comfort when she was with him. Now, he tells her it is all a prevarication, and her development from a miss to a adult female is the cause. He goes on to state her:

If thou dost marry, I? ll give thee this pestilence

For thy dowry: be thou every bit chaste as ice, every bit pure as

Snow, 1000 shalt non escape defamation. Get thee to a

Nunn? ry, farewell. Or if thou wilt demands to get married, get married

A sap, for wise work forces know good plenty what monsters

You make of them? . ( III.i.134-140 )

Here he is stating that all adult females are evil and will do saps of their hubbies like his female parent did of his male parent even though he is dead. Simply stated, work forces are victims of adult females. What sort of message is this for a immature miss to have? She does non even know what it means to be who she is, which is in the center of a adult female and a miss. If being a adult females is so atrocious and everyone hates them, why become one is her inquiry. Her response of, ? Heavenly powers, restore him! ? emphasizes her demand for proof of this thought being false, and she looks to God for the reply because she has no 1 else to turn to. God will non deny her or prevarication to her ; she looks to the last topographic point we all look in despair, God. Hamlet? s statements seem as if he has been possessed, and that none of this is genuinely coming from him. He continues to have on her down into believing what he is stating is fact until eventually she sinks into a down province and says the following to herself:

And I, of ladies most deject and wretched,

That suck? d the honey of his [ music ] vows,

Now see [ that ] baronial and most autonomous ground

Like sweet bells jangled out of clip, and harsh,

That unmatched from and stature of blown young person

Blasted with rapture. O, suffering is me

T? have seen what I have seen, see what I see. ( III.i.155-162 )

This transition is the lone clip in the drama that she speaks more than one line, and it is all said to herself. Shakespeare is showing what many immature pubescent misss do when they are confused and experience as though they have no 1 to speak to. They sit entirely and get down to convert themselves that they are everything that society says they are, fat or ugly. He has convinced her that she is a good for nil prostitute. She believed everything he said to her in his letters because she trusted him, as many trust advertizers and their hoardings. She realizes that she is worthless because she is going the age where her artlessness disappears. Everything that she has seen before this conversation represents love and fondness on his portion. Now everything represents prevarications and confusion. Because he feels threatened by her gender, he discards her. Her universe has ended because she had all of her hopes and desires set on the individuality she set for herself with Hamlet. Her male parent gave her nil to believe in besides what he told her of the hardened cruel universe, and she wanted to believe in the optimism of the universe. She wanted to believe Hamlet was different, and that he would assist her happen her true ego, her individuality. A female parent figure could hold truly helped her understand the difference between the two better.

Possibly if her female parent were present and talked to her about this conversation, she would understand Hamlet? s perceptual experience of her is non fact. She has no 1 to turn to for advice. The lone female parent figure that is present is Hamlet? s female parent, her possible mother-in-law. Hamlet? s female parent, Gertrude, is covering with issues of her ain in that she does non desire to free her boy to madness or better yet, another adult female. She in no manner can offer good advice of the current state of affairs because in world she wants Ophelia to go forth the image. Hamlet is cognizant of his female parent? s green-eyed monster and uses it to drive his point that all adult females are prostitutes, and to ache her. Ophelia becomes the victim one time once more. Hamlet is playing word games with her in the undermentioned conversation:

Queen. Come hither, my beloved Hamlet, sit by me.

Ham. No good female parent, here? s metal more attractive

Ham. Lady, shall I lie in your lap?

Oph. No, my Godhead

Ham. I mean, my caput upon your lap?

Oph. Ah, my Godhead

Ham. Do you believe I meant state affairs?

Oph. I think nil, my Godhead. ( III.ii.108-117 )

Here he is stating Gertrude that Ophelia has one thing that she can non give him. Ophelia is virtuous and can give him honour by sitting following to him, which is something that Gertrude lost in her boy? s eyes when she married his uncle to busy his side. Therefore, the inquiry is, is going a adult female, going a prostitute, or is going a adult female virtuous. Hamlet merely called her a prostitute, and now he is stating his female parent that she is more virtuous to sit by. Ophelia is being stretched back and Forth for the intents of those around her to do their point that all adult females are evil weather they are prostitutes or non. Ophelia is portrayed as immorality in the Queen? s eyes because she holds something that the Queen wants, her boy. His thought of playing them against one another wholly destroys any opportunity of there being any hereafter relationship between them. Hamlet non merely merely confused her of her self-identity ; he destroyed any opportunity for her to hold a female parent figure in her life.

In the conversation above, Hamlet besides plays word games with her to flim-flam her into acknowledging that she thinks soiled ideas. For Ophelia, this is her confusion. She does non cognize what it means to be a prostitute. Does it intend soiled ideas or perchance soiled actions? Ophelia does non even cognize what soiled ideas or actions are. One minute she is used as a step of virtuousness against a prostitute, and the following called one. Because she is na & # 239 ; ve, he knows that he can play with her emotions to accomplish the consequence of control. He figures that if she is scared of going a prostitute ; she will ne’er go one because she will be excessively scared to make anything dirty. It is astonishing that no grownup takes the clip to explicate what any of this means. Ophelia has no equals to speak to, and the closest 1, her brother, left for France to analyze. Ophelia will non calculate out what being a adult female means until it is excessively late when craze begins to devour her in her hunt for herself. The thought of going a adult female will be the ultimate ground why she takes her life.

Amongst all of the pandemonium in hunt of Hamlet? s saneness, Ophelia? s broken bosom is over looked. Her male parent is seeking to turn out Hamlet? s lunacy to revenge his girl? s award. The Queen wants to cognize what is the affair with him because she wants her? small male child? back from where of all time his head has gone. The King, nevertheless, wants Hamlet contained because he holds the truth of how his male parent, the old King, died. Where is Ophelia in all of this? She is believing of how much a prostitute she is and how worthless it is to be a adult female entirely in a corner. Their attempts to work out Hamlet? s job merely communicate to her that because she is a girl/woman she is non deserving assisting. Her award is the lone thing that means anything to anyone, but that to has already been tarnished. Everyone thinks she is a prostitute, whether it is communicated through straight-out name-calling or through revenging her award, it is understood by Ophelia that she is in fact a prostitute.

The inquiry now becomes for her, ? what is the point of life if I am worthless? ? In world, she is faced with the same jobs as Hamlet. ? To be or non to be, ? that is both of their inquiries. Hamlet is confronting the pick of retaliator or non, and Ophelia with a whore/woman or non. Hamlet knows what being an retaliator means ; he knows that he can no longer be a fellow, boy, pupil, or friend. Ophelia on the other manus, has no thought what it means to be a adult female, allow a lone a prostitute. The fact that no 1 is around to specify or guarantee her that she is non one

will finally take her to take Hamlet? s advice of? non to be. ?

After her male parent is killed by Hamlet, Ophelia truly looses her head. Now she has no 1 at all on her side. Her brother is off at school, her male parent is dead, her fellow does non love her, and the Queen hates her for being virtuous and a prostitute at the same clip. She has no 1. The Queen reluctantly allows her to come in because a gentleman has conveyed the magnitude of her craze. She says to the side upon allowing her entryway:

To my ill psyche, as wickedness? s true nature is,

Each plaything seems prologue to some great awry,

So full of ingenuous green-eyed monster is guilt

It spills itself in fearing to be spilt. ( IV.iv.17-20 )

Here it becomes apparent that the Queen is boiling with enviousness for the control she believes Ophelia has over her boy, and the lunacy she has caused him. What the Queen fails to recognize is that Ophelia has no control at all over anything in her life allow entirely the Queen? s. How can she, if no 1 has informed her of the control she has? She has no thought what is go oning to her and why all of a sudden she is different from Hamlet. The intelligence of her lunacy is slightly a alleviation for the Queen because this means that she is unsuitable for her boy, and there will be no more competition. Besides her lunacy will bring around her boy? s and everything will be back to normal.

The Queen wants Hamlet all to herself. Ophelia babbles a few abuses to the Queen and expresses anguish over her male parent? s decease. At this point the King comes in and says, ? Pretty Ophelia. ? ( IV.iv.56 ) Ophelia? s response to him reflects a pessimistic alteration in her personality.

Young work forces will make? t if they come to? T,

By Cock, they are to fault.

? Quoth she, ? Before you tumbled me,

You promis? d me to wed. ? ?

? ? So would I? a? done, by yonder Sun,

and thou hadst non come to my bed. ? ? ( IV.v.60-65 )

Anger seems to be the emotion she is experiencing toward work forces and the fact of being pretty. She is incapable of pass oning any other manner than through this difficult to understand babble. She may be experiencing all of these pessimistic positions about life, but because she is? mad, ? she can non use them to what has happened to her. She is angry because she is non a adult male and is faced with beauty and its dishonesty. Obviously because of her job with Hamlet, she wishes she were a adult male, so possibly she could acquire some of her inquiries answered about what is traveling on. Why do work forces acquire all of the say because they have a phallus, and why do they have the right to fling of adult females when of all time they delight? Not one time has anyone asked her what is incorrect or made secret programs to happen out as were done for Hamlet. Hamlet denied her for being reasonably, her father died revenging that beauty, and now the King is reminding her of the ground she has lost everything of importance. She is saying that all work forces want adult females for is for their beauty, and at the same clip for them non to be excessively reasonably. The prettier a adult female is the more dishonorable and whore-like she is. The desolation of her beauty has caused her craze. She has merely desired credence and blessing from the grownups that surround her, but alternatively has received negative supports because she is a miss.

When all of her individuality and will to populate hold been lost, she goes to the lone thing that gives her comfort, nature. She begins to give parts of her artlessness to those who tarnished it in the first topographic point by giving them flowers. The flowers represent her gender, artlessness, and virtuousness. She gives fennel and aquilegias to the King to typify her flattery for his regards and ungratefulness for his involuntariness to assist her discover her topographic point in this average society of work forces. She gives the Queen herb of grace and takes some for herself, and says, ? we may name it herb of grace / a? Sundays. You may have on your herb of grace with a difference. ? ( IV.v.181-3 ) Rue is a symbol of sorrow and penitence. While Ophelia is regretful for her male parent? s decease and the rejection of Hamlet, she is connoting that the Queen should be sorry for being the prostitute that drove him to detest and reject her. It is excessively late at this point for her new found finds to do a difference in her ultimate decease because she does non link them to world. She is like an overfilled pot of pasta that eventually boils over once it becomes excessively hot. She has realized that adult females can be perceived as evil because of the few that act like prostitutes, and that work forces are merely as immoralities when they condemn adult females for being prostitutes. When she gives her artlessness to them by giving them her flowers, she is basically giving off the one thing that has been in inquiry the full drama, her virginity. She knows that nature will non lie to her or abandon her, and will accept her with or without mistakes.

When she eventually gives her life back to nature by first hanging herself and so drowning, she is giving off the one thing that has caused her craze, her virginity. She knows that she has to give it off to decease peacefully. She does non desire to take this unhappiness with her when she dies ; she wants to give it back to nature. She does non desire it because all it did was do her hurting. However, one time she gives it off, she knows that she must decease or she will be condemned for truly being a prostitute. She kills herself, finally giving herself back to nature where opinions do non be.

The Queen comes to her brother, Laertes, with the intelligence of her decease in surprising accurate item. She describes it:

There is a willow grows askaunt the creek,

That shows his grey foliages in the glass watercourse,

There with antic Garlands did she do

Of crow-flowers, nettles, daisies, and long purples

That broad shepherds give a grosser name

But our cull-cold amahs do dead work forces? s fingers call them. ( V.i.166-171 )

It seems that the individual stating the narrative would non be able to state it in such item if that individual was non watching it take topographic point. Some inquiries of her decease become apparent. Make the Queen kill her? Did the Queen ticker her dice, and if so why did she merely ticker, and non seek to halt her? For statement interest, the Queen did non kill her, but by non making anything to forestall such an guiltless life from decease is merely as atrocious. Again, this reflects the Queen? s desire to hold her boy all to her ego. In her intestine, she must believe that her boy was truly huffy for Ophelia? s virtuousness, or she would hold helped her from the beginning. Gertrude does non desire to acknowledge that her determination to get married his uncle drove Hamlet insane. No female parent wants to believe that they are the ground for their kid? s insanity.

The description though does let us to understand why she killed herself. The description of the ego made rope is really phallic and can be interpreted that she was giving her virginity to nature by symbolically holding sex with it. The? long purples / That broad shepherds give a grosser name, ? ? are symbolic of a phallus ( V.i.169-70 ) . Ophelia is seeking to acquire a phallus inside of her, but does non really understand where precisely to set it. She makes a rope out of the long purples, drapes them on her, and has them lying all around her. She wants nature to take it, make it, and acquire rid of the thing that has driven her insane. She wanted to acquire rid of her virginity so that she could decease peacefully.

Society has a manner of doing immature misss feel like being a adult female is bad, but being a puritan adult females is worse. Ophelia was stuck in the center with no where to travel. There was no 1 to take her virginity because the one individual she could give it to denied her. Everyone else around her died protecting it or abandoned her. She had no other alternate than to imitate giving it off to the one thing that would non reject her, nature.

It is astonishing how people react when person dies. All of a sudden, they are the best individual that of all time lived. At Ophelia? s funeral, everyone is complementing her and want that she were still alive. The Queen says:

Henry sweets to the Sweet, farewell!

I hop? 500 1000 shouldst have been my Hamlet? s married woman.

I thought thy bride-bed to hold deck? vitamin D, Sweet amah,

And non hold strew? vitamin D thy grave. ( V.i.244-7 )

Wait a minute ; is this the same adult female who watched Ophelia kill herself? After a individual is dead, everyone who is left awards that individual for his or her presence on Earth. Is it possible that the Queen truly meant her affecting concluding adieu. Be it merely done for visual aspect interest? The Queen acted excessively syrupy antecedently to be sincere in her concluding farewell. She denied her aid in her concluding minutes, and invariably viewed her as competition for her boy? s love. Now that she is dead, the Queen can state anything she wants to stamp down the guilt she feels, but it will non alter the fact that Ophelia is dead. She throws flowers on Ophelia? s coffin in order for her to buried with them. In a sense, she is seeking to give Ophelia back the artlessness that she knows she took and denied of her when she was alive. This demonstrates the Queen? s over pouring gilding for her actions.

Laertes feels immense unhappiness for his sister? s decease because now he is all entirely and merely has Hamlet to fault. He is overwhelmed with emotion and leaps into the grave to acquire one concluding embracing. When he jumps in, he destroys all of the virginity that the Queen tried to give back to her. This represents a adult male? s point of position that no adult females is virtuous. Although he is showing his love for her, at the same clip he is stating he can non love her if she is a virgin because all adult females are prostitutes. Work forces do non cognize how to love the artlessness of a adult females merely the sexual side of her.

In competition for who loved her more, Hamlet charges the scene and leaps in with him. Hamlet says, ? I lov? vitamin D Ophelia. Forty 1000 brothers / Could non with all their measure of love / Make up my amount. What wilt 1000 bash for her? ? ( V.i.269-71 ) Again, wait a minute, what is incorrect with all of these people? They evidently do non understand that they are all the ground she is dead. Now two work forces are nailing her virginity to spots. Shakespeare is truly seeking to drive the construct of work forces non being capable of loving the artlessness of a adult female when he has both of them contending on her coffin. The Queen merely tried to do damagess with the psyche of this hapless miss, and now we see two work forces contending over it and at the same clip destructing it. While she was alive, no 1 made a dither over her virtuousness. Now that she is dead, they all feel that they loved her more than the others did. If one had merely said this to her while she was alive, the strivings of adolescence would non hold killed her.

In decision, Ophelia? s decease could hold been prevented if an grownup would hold merely conveyed their involvement for her while she was alive. If Ophelia would hold faced these exact state of affairss as a adult male, the results would hold been different. If she would hold been an grownup adult female, Hamlet? s games to turn out all adult females are prostitutes would hold had no consequence on her. Adult adult females know what it means to be a prostitute, and understand that work forces sometimes have different perceptual experiences of what precisely that is. They understand how to populate in a society of work forces. The Queen communicates her cognition of this when she marries a adult male to maintain peace in her land. How dry it is that Hamlet condemned her for lasting in society that has no regard for adult females. He did non see her actions as endurance ; he saw them reenforcing the thought that all adult females are prostitutes, even female parents. Ophelia? s decease is tragic, but could hold been prevented even though she was pubescent miss. Society? s mentality of adult females demands to alter, non merely for equality, but besides for the lives of all the guiltless flowers that long to be flowers. If nature represents a adult female, how can they be condemned as prostitutes? Society must alter their positions. To salvage the life of one inexperienced person flower merely requires attending and love, something Ophelia did non have.