How dose Ophelia die in hamlet?Why?

3 Answers

  • She goes crazy after the man she loves kills her father and disappears.

    Even her death seems passive: rather than straight-up committing suicide, as Gertrude tells us, she accidentally falls in the water and then simply neglects to save herself from sinking.

    From Shmoop/Ophelia/Hamlet

  • In the written version that you read, it is open to interpretation as to whether Hamlet is crazy or when he goes crazy. When you see the play, the director and the actor playing Hamlet pick when and if he goes crazy. My belief is that in Act 1 Scene 2, Hamlet is already unhinged by the death of his father. He mouths off in court to the King Claudius and his mother Queen Gertrude who are trying his best to help Hamlet through his grief. While a commoner might have behaved that way to his mother and the king, a prince of royal blood would not unless he were beginning to become unhinged. Remember it is not till the end of the scene that Horatio tells Hamlet about the ghost. Between the exiting of the court and the arrival of Horatio with the news, Hamlet gives his first soliloquy in which he contemplates suicide: “Oh that this too too solid flesh would melt thaw and resolve itself into a dew or that the everlasting [God] had not fixed his canon gainst self-slaughter.” By the time of O’s death, he’s long gone round the bend.

  • In Act 4 Scene 7, Queen Gertrude, in a famous monologue (There is a willow grows aslant the brook), reports that Ophelia had climbed into a willow tree, and then a branch broke and dropped Ophelia into the brook, where she drowned. Gertrude says that Ophelia appeared “incapable of her own distress” like a mad person would be.

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