Explore the impact that Ophelia and her actions have on Hamlet, and how they contribute to the conflict, events, and outcome of the play. Your essay should include answers to the following questions.
How old most likely is Ophelia, and what, in her time, is her most valuable quality? What impact does this have on her brother and father’s attitudes towards her relationship with Hamlet?
From Ophelia’s point of view, what is the cause of Hamlet’s increasingly troubling behavior?
What triggers Hamlet’s fury towards Ophelia in Act III Scene i – and what event ultimately triggers her madness?
Does Ophelia’s death, as Gertrude describes it in Act IV Scene vii, sound like a suicide? Why or why not?