Can someone give me comments on my essay so far?

I'm not totally done, but I just want someone to say what they think of my essay so far. It's about why I think that Ophelia (from Hamlet) is pregnant.PS. It's only the first body paragraph that I'm posting.In Act One, Scene Three, Ophelia and her father, Polonius, discuss Ophelia’s relationship with Hamlet, and what they say hints that Ophelia could have already slept with him. When Ophelia brings up the subject of Hamlet, Polonius says, "‘[t]is told me he hath very oft of late / [g]iven private time to you, and you yourself / [h]ave of your audience been most free and / bounteous," (1.3.99-102). Polonius has heard that Ophelia and Hamlet have been spending time alone together. During the Elizabethan Era, this was uncalled for. When a man and woman were courting, they had to be chaperoned to make sure that "proper decorum" was noticed. If the man and woman had slept together, but never got married, it would be impossible for the woman to find another man. Polonius knows this and realizes that something could possibly be going on while Hamlet and Ophelia are together and he questions Ophelia. Ophelia simply tells Polonius, "[Hamlet] hath, my lord, of late made many tenders / [o]f his affection to me," (1.3.108-109). By saying this, Ophelia tells Polonius that Hamlet has been expressing his affection for her lately. This conversation between Ophelia and Polonius suggests that Hamlet and Ophelia, in their time together, have been doing more than just having a friendly chat.

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3 Responses to “Can someone give me comments on my essay so far?”

  1. lbarner says:

    In this play, “private time” was no more salacious than reading a book:LORD POLONIUS (3,1,51-53) Ophelia, walk you here. Gracious, so please you, We will bestow ourselves. To OPHELIA Read on this book; That show of such an exercise may colour Your loneliness.OPHELIA (1,3,114-115) My lord, he hath importuned me with love In HONOURABLE fashion.In her soliloquy, Ophelia mentioned the “honey of his music vows,” but nothing about kisses, nor embraces, nor giving up her “chaste treasure,” which she had promised Laertes that she would protect.They didn’t have drugstore pregnancy tests back then. If Ophelia had been pregnant and certain of it, so would the “churlish priest.” If she had committed suicide while pregnant, the churlish priest would have done even less for her. And Laertes would have avoided the topic of her “unpolluted flesh.” And the gravemaker would be commenting on more than just the unfair liberty of rich folks to hang themselves. Ophelia’s tragic flaw was the same as Hamlet’s. Both were untrue to themselves by being excessively obedient to their fathers. Hamlet erased himself from his own brain and wrote his father’s commandment there. Ophelia let her father tell her what to think:OPHELIA (1,3,108-109) I do not know, my lord, what I should think.LORD POLONIUS Marry, I’ll teach you: think yourself a baby;OPHELIA (4,5,55-58)Then up he rose, and donn’d his clo’es,And dupp’d the chamber door,Let in the maid, that out a maidNever departed more.On the surface, this song has a bawdy meaning. A man opens the door of his room and lets in a virgin. When she leaves the room, she is no longer a virgin. But it also has a deeper, morbid meaning. “Dupped” means “open upward”, as with a cellar door, or a coffin lid. So the man let a maid enter his coffin and she never left it, with or without her virginity. This foreshadows the last act, where, rather than Ophelia entering Hamlet’s grave, he enters hers. If she hadn’t committed suicide before he returned (to Denmark and to himself) , he might have married her. But instead, she came to their marriage “bed” – the grave that had been prepared by Hamlet’s grave-digger.OPHELIA (4,5,65-68)Quoth she, ‘Before you tumbled me,You promised me to wed.’He answers,’So would I ‘a done, by yonder sun,And thou hadst not come to my bed.’.GERTRUDE (5,1,245-247)I hop’d thou shouldst have been my Hamlet’s wife.I thought thy bride-bed to have deck’d, sweet maid,And not have strew’d thy grave.Please see [external link] … – An Envious Sliver [external link] – Remembrances in the Book of Their Brains [external link] – The Honey of His Music Vows [external link] – A Breeder of Sinners [external link] – The Rebirth of Hamlet

  2. encirclements says:

    This is a pretty good opening paragraph, but I’m curious about what the rest of your evidence would be. I can’t think of anything else from Hamlet that would make me think that she is pregnant, but I don’t know that much about that era. Just from what you have so far though, I would suggest that you look very carefully at the word choice here. While it’s obvious from this exchange that Hamlet has been coming on to Ophelia, I’m not sure if the language actually suggests any physical act between them. A close reading here could really be persuasive if it’s backed by solid research. Other than that, I would change the sentence, “During the Elizabethan Era, this was uncalled for.” I think you mean something more like: “Private exchanges between members of the opposite sex were taboo in the Elizabethan Era.”

  3. cubanos says:

    Only thing I noticed (mind you, I’m NOT an English person), is the lack of a comma before quotation in, “proper decorum”.