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William Faulkner has managed to infuse suspense in his tragedy The Hamlet. Throughout the play, there are a number of mysterious twists and turns that leave the audience engulfed in suspense by the mystery.
The death of Ophelia occurs offstage, and there is no evidence to it. After her drowning, Gertrude gives us an account of the tragedy inasmuch as she may not have been present at the time it happened. She gives an account of the drowning despite not having enough evidence of the event. Gertrude says that Ophelia fell into the water and failed to save herself; this shows it could have been a suicide. However, with Gertrude explaining the events so vividly, one would wonder why she did not try to save the drowning Ophelia or raise alarm if indeed she was an eyewitness as her account of the death portrays.
Gertrude’s account could not be further from the truth since upon slipping and falling into the water Ophelia would not have ‘sat in the water singing until her clothes pulled her down’. Ophelia was a romanticist who saw the best in everything, which could explain the analogy given by Gertrude, but if indeed she committed suicide she could only have been driven to it considering the person she was.
Ophelia was in deep love with Hamlet; she was, therefore, totally dejected when Hamlet claimed that she did not love him and that she was unchaste. These accusations took a mental toll on Ophelia, and she could have been demented into killing herself. Hamlet’s killing of Ophelia’s father also made her situation worse. Despite the fact that the death was accidental, it was hard to shift the blame from Hamlet. She had to concede the fact that the man she loved killed her father.
This conflict within her mind must have been hard to live with. She could have taken her life since she could not have reconciled with her situation. Similarly, she could have suffered a mental problem that made her irrational. She did not realize the danger she was in when she fell into the water hence did not try to save herself. She just sat still singing.
Her father had also made her life hard for consistently eavesdropping on her and Hamlet and constantly spying on Hamlet. This could have been the onset impetus of her mental problems. If all these are to be considered, then she was just an innocent woman killed by the people she loved most.
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