An Essay on True Love

Did Hamlet really love Ophelia? Yes, I believe he did. Was it true?

Act V, Scene 1 (251-253) at Ophelia’s funeral after she had taken her life.

I loved Ophelia. Forty thousand brothers
Could not with all their quantity of love
Make up my sum. What wilt thou do for her?

If Hamlet so loved Ophelia, why did she take her life? Why didn’t she feel it? Because, my friends… Hamlet’s love for her was far from true. He wasted it all away for the sake of revenge. At the funeral you don’t see a man mourning the loss of his beloved. You see a man perotting the words of it. Without action, even very pretty words are worthless.

Claudias had the right idea I think (266b-267).

                                       This is mere madness,
And thus awhile the fit will work on him.

To Blave

True love is the greatest thing in the world (except for an MLT: mutton, lettuce, and tomato sandwich). But what does it mean?

Many songs have been written on the love part, and even that mostly the feelings of the love part. There is a mind and soul to it as well. But how do you attain true love?

It’s very simple. If you have a feeling of love towards someone (and that feeling is returned). Choose to stay true to them. If you no longer love them. Break it off before pursuing another.

If Hamlet’s love for Ophelia were true, he never would have used her like he did. He could have told her of his schemes, could have brought her in on it, but he was so afraid of being outed that he hid his love for her, and she in her abandonment, took her own life. 

Having dealt with depression personally, I can tell you that no matter how dark things can be… wait on the Lord and pray it out. And if it is a situational depression (as it was for me), make the changes needed to get out of it. It’s almost like I can see color for the first time! Please, seek help! Do not follow the tragic path of Ophelia. 

She didn’t need to die. And if Hamlet hadn’t lied to her. If he hadn’t pushed her away, I think she would have helped him. But the purposes of a tragedy are to point these things out. They allow us to safely jump into the life of the actor who lives a bad idea out until its horrid end. 

The play of Hamlet warned us against the obsession of revenge. The character of Hamlet was not true to Ophelia. His feelings of love were just that… feelings with no truth to them. And all of it in service to a revenge that ruined so many lives.

The Internet

I see a very troubling world we live in. The internet has been very good at connecting so many. As good as this can be, there is also the subtle postmodern mentality of the anything-is-possible “what if”. And by that thought, many relationships have been doomed. With hundreds of thousands of what-ifs at your fingertips… How can one stay true to their beloved?

It is common now to date a person, giving 50% to that person while flirting on the side with other potentials. If the current date goes south… there’s always a backup. 

But I say, not giving 100% into a relationship means you will never know the truth. True love is sacrificial, pushing the potentials aside for that one person.

Not to say that you should stay in a relationship that is not working out. Just, instead of half-dating other people… do a clean break with the current date. If the relationship is really that bad… break up. 

Only then can you find true love. The love part isn’t always under your control… but being true to who you love… that’s all up to you.

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