Ophelia (character)

From Academic Kids

Ophelia is the submissive daughter of Polonius, a chief advisor to the new King Claudius, in the play Hamlet by William Shakespeare. She is the sister of Polonius's other child, Laertes, and is extremely loyal to her family. Her mother is not mentioned in the play. Ophelia is believed to be around 16-19 years old.

She was also Hamlet's girlfriend. Polonius uses her to try to trick Hamlet into revealing the truth about his feigned madness, having Hamlet meet her while he and Claudius are in hiding and eavesdropping. Because Hamlet is aware of this, he must play the role of the madman to the hilt. Ophelia ends up convinced that he truly is mad, and mourns him in eloquent sorrow. After Hamlet accidentally kills her father Polonius, believing him to be Claudius, Ophelia goes mad and drowns in a brook. While her grave is being dug, Hamlet finds the skull of Yorick, the court jester of his slain father.

The death of Ophelia was a popular subject in art during the nineteenth century. The most famous painting depicting her is by John Everett Millais. he:אופליה

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