Hamlet himself created all the drama in the play with his pretend “madness” and his emotional outbursts, which lead to the destruction of almost all of the characters in the play.
In Hamlet, Ophelia’s obedience to her father and brother, along with her dismissal by Hamlet, reveals that women were not allowed to assert their opinions, emotions, or desires in a courtly setting....
Though mentioned several times throughout the play, but being absent from the stage, Laius, Oedipus' biological father, started things off on a bad note with his decision to leave it to another person to kill Oedipus....
But when her father had challenged Hamlet’s true intentions, Ophelia could only say: “I do not know, my lord, what I should think.” Ophelia was used to relying on her father’s directions and she was also brought up to be obedient....
The problem with Girard’s interpretation, however, as Eric Gans points out, is that the elimination of revenge is a utopian solution to the problem of conflictual desire, a solution inappropriate to a modern world which feeds on the social energies released by competition (rivalry) and desire (Chronicles #141). Girard sees Christianity as a revelation of the victimary (and hence unjustifiable) basis of the sacrificial, both in ritual and classic tragedy, a moral revelation which demands the radical renunciation of revenge. But insofar as the structure of mimetic desire is inherently sacrificial (the satisfaction of triangular desire would mean the sacrificial destruction of the human obstacles to that desire), the apocalypse entailed by satisfied desire can be only deferred indefinitely. As the very basis of culture, desire, and hence the possibility of violence, cannot be coherently refused, only sublimated and thus deferred. Gans writes, “In the last analysis, Girard no more than the other critics can consonance Hamlet’s indefinite delay. The difference, and it is entirely to his credit, is that where our pseudo-Nietzscheans impatiently urge Hamlet to wreak vengeance on the patriarchy, Girard wants him to follow the Christian road of renunciation” (Chronicles #141).
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Do not misunderstand me, for misunderstanding on this matter is very easy but very dangerous. The stage of the full gratification of desire that I have been speaking of is the stage of the Soul’s childhood, ere yet the memory of the Soul recalling past suffering following on gratification, translates itself as the voice of conscience, and warns the lower nature of the peril of yielding to desire. When once experience has been sufficient to bring about such warning from the Soul, then it is madness to disregard it and gratify desire in its despite. Full gratification of desire belongs to the stage where the outer attraction is yielded to without a pause, without a doubt, without a question, and is followed by no regret, by no shame, by no remorse. The rising of any question in the mind as to the propriety or the wisdom of gratifying the desire, shows that the memory of the Soul contains a record of suffering following on similar gratification in the past; otherwise no question could arise. If the man yields, against the warning, the pain of remorse will be added to the pain of satiety, and thus only progressive lessons are learned; until at last he realises that his wisdom lies in refusing to purchase future pain by temporary pleasure. And then he begins to starve out the desires by refusal to feed them, while by dwelling on the pains that gratification brings he cuts at their root with the axe of knowledge, wrought out of experience. All average men, all but the lowest and most brutish, have reached the stage when the voice of conscience is heard, and should therefore begin to consciously cooperate with the upward tendency out of the mire of materiality into the spiritual life.
Let no one be discouraged if here it be said that this change is a matter of growth, and cannot be accomplished in a moment. The human Self cannot, by a single effort, raise to manhood from childhood, any more than a body can change from infancy to maturity in a night. If the statement of the law of growth bring a sense of chill when we regard it as an obstacle in the way of our wish for sudden perfection, let us remember that the other side of the statement is that the growth is certain, that it cannot be ultimately prevented, and that if law refuses a miracle it on the other hand gives security. Moreover, we can quicken growth, we can afford the best possible conditions for it, and then rely on the law for our result. Let us then consider the means we can employ for hastening the growth we see to be needed, for transferring the activity of consciousness from the lower to the higher.
Under this definition, revenge is in effect a universal problem for human culture, not simply a theme of Elizabethan drama. Girard’s “Fundamental Anthropology” is grounded in his theory of mimetic or conflictual desire. In this view, what distinguishes the human species are our mimetic tendencies. In evolutionary terms, mimesis or imitation is an adaptive learning behavior, a form of intelligence, but mimesis, when transferred to desire and the appropriation of desirable or “sacred” objects, leads to conflict–just as Hamlet, for example, comes into conflict with Laertes at the grave of Ophelia. Our mimetic heritage is distinctly ambivalent: it creates a temptation to violence, but it also serves as the basis for language or representation itself, the distinctly human form of mimesis or imitation.
By drawing our attention away from revenge, Greenblatt’s interpretation shares some affinities with René Girard’s pioneering interpretation in A Theater of Envy (271-289). For Girard, the problem of the play is not Hamlet’s delay, but precisely the question of revenge. Whereas for most critics, Greenblatt included, revenge is an unaccountable holdover from the revenge tragedy tradition, Girard, from his anthropological perspective, sees revenge as another version of the sacrificial, the translation of resentment into action. While revenge might cloak itself within a façade of necessary justice, from an ethical point of view the need for violent personal retribution is banal and ultimately puerile.
Hamlet is a good example of a son's treatment of his mother reflecting how he will treat the woman he loves because when considering Hamlet's attitude and treatment of the Ophelia in William Shakespeare's play, Hamlet, one must first consider how Hamlet treated his mother.