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Bradley, A. C. Shakespearean Tragedy: Lectures on Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, Macbeth.
2nd ed. London: Macmillan, 1905.
PAGE 154
HAMLET

entertained any such hope his study of her face dispelled it; and thereafter, as in the nunnery-scene (III. i.) and again at the play-scene, he not only feigned madness, but, to convince her that he had quite lost his love for her, he also addressed her in bitter and insulting language. In all this he was acting a part intensely painful to himself; the very violence of his language in the nunnery-scene arose from this pain; and so the actor should make him show, in that scene, occasional signs of a tenderness which with all his efforts he cannot wholly conceal. Finally, over her grave the truth bursts from him in the declaration quoted just now, though it is still impossible for him to explain to others why he who loved her so profoundly was forced to wring her heart.

     Now this theory, if the view of Hamlet's character which I have taken is anywhere near the truth, is certainly wrong at one point, viz., in so far as it supposes that Hamlet's bitterness to Ophelia was a mere pretence forced on him by his design of feigning to be insane; and I proceed to call attention to certain facts and considerations, of which the theory seems to take no account.

     1. How is it that in his first soliloquy Hamlet makes no reference whatever to Ophelia?

     2. How is it that in his second soliloquy, on the departure of the Ghost, he again says nothing about her? When the lover is feeling that he must make a complete break with his past, why does it not occur to him at once that he must give up his hopes of happiness in love?

     3. Hamlet does not, as the popular theory supposes, break with Ophelia directly after the Ghost appears to him; on the contrary, he tries to see her and sends letters to her (II. i. 109). What really happens is that Ophelia suddenly repels his visits and letters. Now, we know that she is simply obeying her father's order; but how would her action

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