Throughout
Shakespeare’s The Tragedy of Hamlet,
parents and their children suffer from unhealthy relationships. Though Hamlet’s
relationships with his parents are not dreadful, the other parent-child
relationships in Hamlet are quite horrible, especially the relationship between
Polonius and Ophelia. Polonius dominates his relationship with Ophelia and also
refuses to respect his son, Laertes. This friction between parents and their
children leads to pain for many of the characters. The controlling relationship
Polonius has with Ophelia is what eventually leads to her madness and suicide.
This is due to her reliance on him, which is brought about by his authoritive
nature towards her. Ophelia obeys her father as she is scared of him, although
she does not recognise this herself. Ophelia loves her father dearly and does
everything he asks just to please him, which ultimately leads to her demise as
she is unable to function once he is dead. As for Hamlet’s relationships with
his parents, he loves them both dearly, to the point that it also leads him to
madness. He has a good relationship with his mother, even though he cannot
accept that she has moved on so quickly from his father, with his uncle no
less. This causes him a lot of mental stress as he seems not to want to damage
his relationship with his mother, but also feels that he is betraying his
father, like she has, if he just accepts her marriage to Claudius. Moreover,
although the audience never sees Hamlet’s relationship with King Hamlet, as he
is dead before the play starts, we can infer that their relationship was a good
one, with the amount of respect Hamlet has when talking about his father.
Furthermore, Hamlet’s descent into madness is exasperated by the return of his
father on the form of a ghost. His dead father presents a moral problem for
Hamlet, as he asks him to kill Claudius in revenge, but Hamlet’s morals mean
that he is unable to do this until he finds out for himself if Claudius is
really the murderer. This moral dilemma causes Hamlet’s insanity to further
increase. The dysfunctional families are essentially the cause of the play’s
tragic nature and the cause of madness for both Hamlet and Ophelia, although
these are to different extents.

x

Hi!
I'm Cody!

Would you like to get a custom essay? How about receiving a customized one?

Check it out