What go it average when Ophelia says, “Lord, we know what us are, but not what we might be." how do these concepts relate to theme? In what methods does Hamlet struggle with this really idea?

There is some academic debate about Ophelia"s native in plot 4, step 5—she is suffering a mental breakdown, so must we find for an interpretation in what she is saying or i disbanded it as random ravings? However, this specific line definitely seems come echo the template of uncertainty that pervades the play. Both Ophelia and also Hamlet are acutely mindful of, and also tormented by, their current selves but are anxious around the huge and unknowable potentials of your futures. This uncomfortable skepticism drives Ophelia to madness and also Hamlet to procrastinate his search for revenge.

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Carter Westfall

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One should understand that Ophelia, in ~ this point, is enduring a mentalbreakdown. She has actually been puzzled by Hamlet"s faint words and actions and has been admonished through both she father and brother around pursuing connections with him. To crown it all, she has actually just learned the ...


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One should understand that Ophelia, in ~ this point, is enduring a mental breakdown. She has actually been puzzled by Hamlet"s pass out words and actions and also has been admonished by both her father and brother around pursuing connections with him. Come crown the all, she has actually just learned the Hamlet has actually killed she father. All this trauma is sufficient to make even the most stable of individuals crack.

The concern is: go Ophelia say this words in a minute of brilliant intellectual enlightenment or room these simply the ramblings the a mind gone astray? every little thing it might be, Ophelia is do a good point. Her statement is an accurate assessment of ours being, ours essence. Us live in the present. What we know is what we know now and also we respond come that; however, we carry out not know what we might become. We may guess or make assumptions around our futures or just how we may respond to a situation, but we can not be rather sure.

Ophelia, because that example, knew the she had affection because that Hamlet and that she was faithful to her father, but she go not know that Hamlet would mess about with her so much, confusing she -- informing her in one moment to "get thee to a nunnery" and also in the next requesting to sit at she feet. She neither knew the level of her father"s meddling or that he would be eliminated by Hamlet. Finally, no knowing, she could hardly contemplate how she would certainly react. It is particular that she never thought that she would lose her sanity, or later on commit suicide.

It is this uncertainty which is a major theme the the play. Hamlet knows who he is: the child of a murdered king, rightful heir come the Danish throne. Furthermore, he knows what he doubt -- that his uncle had actually murdered his father and also unlawfully usurped the throne, and that his mother may have actually been complicit in the murder. Hamlet additionally knows that he has to avenge his father"s death, but he also knows that he is no a awful killer. ~ listening come his father"s ghost, Hamlet look at his duty together a curse:

O cursed spite,That ever before I to be born to collection it right!

It is all this the sets Hamlet on the road of doubt and also procrastination. He knows what the is, but is uncertain around what he may become.

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that rationalizes, considers and reconsiders. His intellectual perturbation does not allow him come act and his suspicion is best expressed in his deep and also moving soliloquy:

To be, or not to be: the is the question:Whether "tis noble in the mind come sufferThe slings and also arrows that outrageous fortune,Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,And through opposing end them? ...

It would certainly be fair to say that, at this point, Hamlet does not even seem certain of what the is and also is more than likely even an ext doubtful about what he might be. Negative Hamlet! If he had actually only known that his suspicion would ultimately lead to the tragic demise of so many, including him!