Ophelia is one of the two female characters in wilhelm Shakespeare’s’ beat Hamlet. She is depicted as a young noblewoman the Denmark, and potential mam of Prince Hamlet. She is also the daughter of Polonius and sister the Laertes.

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The fatality of Ophelia is wondered about due to different accounts regarding the situations of her death. She death can be either interpreted as an accident or suicide. In this article, fine answer to the inquiry ‘how walk Ophelia dice in Hamlet’ by looking in ~ these differing accounts and examining the circumstances concerning her death.

How does Ophelia dice in Hamlet

Ophelia’s death is an initial announced in the play by Queen Gertrude (Hamlet’s mother) in act IV, scene vii. This death announcement is taken into consideration to be among the many poetic death announcements in literature. Follow to Gertrude, Ophelia had climbed into a willow tree, and then a branch had broken and also dropped her right into the water, where she drowned.

“There is a pasture grows aslant a brook

That shows his hoar pipeline in the glassy stream.

There with wonderful garlands did she come

Of crowflowers, nettles, daisies, and also long purples,

That liberal shepherds provide a grosser name,

But ours cold maids do “dead men’s fingers” speak to them.

There, on the pendant boughs her coronet weeds

Clambering to hang, an envious sliver broke,

When down her weedy trophies and also herself

Fell in the weeping brook. Her garments spread wide,

And mermaid-like a while castle bore her up,

Which time she chanted snatches the old lauds

As one incapable of her own distress,

Or choose a creature native and also indued

Unto that element. Yet long it can not be

Till the her garments, heavy with your drink,

Pulled the poor wretch from she melodious lay

To muddy death.”

Although this is described as one accident, unit volume such together “incapable of her own distress” indicates that she do no initiative to conserve herself. The is also possible that Gertrude is offering this poetic and also peaceful summary of fatality only to reduce the grief of Ophelia’s brother. Gertrude’s description is additionally questionable because no one witnessed the yes, really drowning.


However, the priest’s word in action V, step I implies that Ophelia has committed suicide. The is wake up to provide Ophelia a appropriate Christian burial since he thinks that it would certainly insult the dead. This means that she has actually taken her own life.

“Her obsequies have been as far enlarged

As we have actually warranty. Her death was doubtful,

And, however that great command o’ersways the order,

She need to in soil unsanctified have lodged

Till the critical trumpet. Because that charitable prayers

Shards, flints and pebbles should be thrown ~ above her.

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Yet below she is allowed her virgin crants,

Her maiden strewments, and the pass home

Of bell and also burial.”

Thus, there room two views on Ophelia’s death. Follow to Gertrude’s account, it appears to be an accident, but it likewise implies that Ophelia made no attempt to save herself native drowning. In the next scene, the priest that performs the funeral ritual means that she may have actually taken her own life. However, the secret surrounding Ophelia’s fatality makes this incident much more poetic and also tragic.

Image Courtesy:

“Millais – Ophelia (detail)” By john Everett Millais – (Public Domain) via Commons Wikimedia