Relationship between Hamlet and Ophelia

The relationship between Hamlet and Ophelia is not a true love story. Instead, it seems to be the sort of relationship that everyone has long assumed and that has never developed to the degree others believe it has or perhaps wish it had. Gertrude expresses such a sentiment as she places flowers on Ophelia's grave: "Sweets to the sweet! Farewell./ I hop'd thou shouldst have been my Hamlet's wife;/ I thought thy bridebed to have deck'd, sweet maid,/ And not have strew'd thy grave" (V.1.244-247). When Hamlet is feigning madness and wishes to tweak Laertes, he claims to have loved Ophelia, though his actions previously have not shown much love for her: "I lov'd Ophelia. Forty thousand brothers/ Could not (with all their quantity of love)/ Make up my sum. What wilt thou do for her?" (V.1.280-282).

Laertes certainly does not see Hamlet as a lover for his sister and instead believes that Hamlet is only trifling with her, and he warn



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