Hamlet by William Shakespeare



The above passage from Hamlet is the speech that Laertes is giving to her sister Ophelia. The whole warning talks about Ophelia and her position in the society. Laertes is warning Ophelia about the love that she is receiving from Hamlet. The tone Laertes is using while providing the advice to the sister is overprotective tone. He is not putting into considerations her feelings. “Perhaps he loves you now, and now no soil nor doth besmirch. The virtue of his will, but you must fear” (I.iii. 15-17). Laertes in his speech never consults Ophelia about her feelings and her overall opinion on the matter. He goes ahead and quarrels her sister in the name of warning her against her potential lover. There is the use of metaphorical language during the speech that sees Laertes hurt Ophelia’s feminine side. Ophelia feels inferior to her brother during the whole speech (Talbot 546). It is a warning to her sister that is good advice. The problem comes in with the tone he is using while giving the notice to the sister. It shows that women were not taken seriously nor treated with respect during that era. Laertes is ready to travel leaving his sister behind. He gives the advice that Hamlet is only going to marry a woman with the same social status as his status. Laertes decides to talk to his sister about matters that cannot be said anymore since he is ready to go away for a long time. It is clear from the whole speech that Laertes has no high opinion about Prince Hamlet and does not recommend him for his sister.