Hamlet’s love interest ND Polonium’ daughter, is the epitome of a character with this grievous fate. Throughout the story you can see how her mistreatment causes her to slowly lose touch with the passionate and beautiful woman she starts out as. Aphelion’s descent into madness is the ultimate tragedy of Hamlet when considering her family’s distrust of her worth and virtue, and her lover’s betrayal and cruelty. The first of the many unfortunate series of events which resulted in Aphelion’s madness was her father’s insensitive “advice” in Act I SC. , which in other words was him mocking her and installing into her dead the misogynistic idea that all her worth as a woman will ever be is what man she marries. He warns her that if she fools around with Hamlet and lets her supposed silly girlish fantasies get the best of her, she will be deemed a where and her chances at ever maiming a decent man will be diminished. He puts it best in lines 1 10-1 18 of this scene; “Affection, pup! You speak like a green girl unsuited in such perilous circumstance. Do you believe his “tenders,” as you call them?…
Tender yourself more dearly or you’ll tender me a fool. ” pretty harsh, to say the least. He is more worried about his reputation than he is about his daughter’s feelings. He had just finished giving her brother, Alerter, such wonderful and useful advice, and he then speaks to her as if she were a naive young girl submerged in lust disguised as love for her beloved Hamlet. This is exactly where the self destructive road begins for the ill-fated Aphelia; consequently leading to her lunacy and loss of self worth.
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Furthermore into Aphelion’s heartbreak, her lover proves her father’s lecture to be true when all her heart really wanted was for him to be proven wrong. In Act 3 Sc. Hamlet begins with an extremely malicious sarcasm towards her. He thanks her for her initial pleasantries (“l humbly thank you, well, well, well,”). He then readily denies that he ever truly cared for her. Since she wasn’t expecting this from her dear lover, she is left in shock when her once charming prince demands “Get thee to a nunnery’ (168).
The connotations of the meaning of “nunnery is enough in and of itself to be a cruel wake up call to her. Aphelion’s sanity begins to unravel itself even more at this point. Hamlet’s melancholy grants him the flexibility to convey manic-depressive assures, while Aphelion’s is much more painful and overwhelming. The last straw for Aphelia was without a doubt her father, Polonium’, death. This is where she shares a common connection with Hamlet: the loss of a parental figure.
The difference here is that Hamlet actually causes this despair and remorse, and even after he accidentally murders Polonium it doesn’t appear to occur to him the potential effects of his actions to Aphelia. Hamlet’s slaying of Polonium is what spurs Aphelia into psychosis, and it isn’t pretty. She has now lost all hope, and has come to the bitter realization that “love” is more painful Han it is beautiful. She is left utterly alone in the world; her lover has abandoned her and her father dead. All the pain and sorrow she has encountered has given her a deeper perspective on everything.