Shakespeare is often credited for the poetic nature of his writing. However, there are many times when he is very straightforward. Even with his sometimes blunt lines, there is always something new that you can draw from these otherwise transparent lines. Act two, scene one, lines 99-112 are a prime example of this. At the start of the scene Ophelia is discussing Hamlet’s mental state with her father.
“He took me by the wrist and held me hard.” (II.i.99) This line seems to mean the same thing when analyzed; that Hamlet grabbed Ophelia’s arm and held onto her extremely hard. Throughout these lines, Shakespeare's language seems to be focusing on the different body parts starting with the wrist. It is not until the next line, “Then goes he to the length of all his arm,” (II.i.100), the hidden focus of movement is being put on the bodies of both Hamlet and Ophelia. Going from the arms slowly bringing you closer to a key point that is not yet know to us. Or, perhaps Shakespeare may be doing this just to give a very still part of the play some movement.We can see the idea of small moments moving the plot along “And, With his other hand thus o’er his brow,” (II.i.101.) Another redundant line meaning then he took his other hand and placed it over his brow. This move brings everything to Hamlet’s face allowing more emotion to be more prevalent. Emotions that are felt by Ophelia’s but seen through the eyes of Hamlet “He falls to such perusal of my face, As he would draw it. Long stayed he so.” (II.i.102-103.) The close study that Hamlet does of Ophelia’s face shows the emotions that Hamlet feels, which he shows with his attentiveness to her appearance.
Hamlet’s extreme emotional distress overcomes him in the coming lines. “As last, a little shaking of mine arm, And thrice his head thus waving up and down, ” (II.i.104-105.) Going back to the first body part that Shakespeare speaks of you can see that it makes a circle. Continuing subtly but important just like the emotions of the two young lovers. “He raised sigh so piteous and profound” (II.i.106.) The fact that profound was used to this was interesting to me.The work is used mostly to explain the vast depth of the ocean or of the mind. This shows how deeply Ophelia knows Hamlet that she would use a word so strong to describe a sigh and with how it seemed to physically unnerve him. “As it did seem to shatter all his bulk, And end his being. That done he lets me go,” (II.i.107-108.) The use of the work shatter and bulk with in the same line stands out. Bulk being such a strong work and shatter is something that happens only to fragile things. Showing Hamlets truly fragile emotional state through his manly facade.Once emotions settle and Hamlet starts to move away, you can still feel the stillness in both Hamlet and Ophelia “And, with his head over his shoulder turned, he seemed to find his way without his eyes, For out o’ doors he want without their help, And to the last bended their light on me” (II.i.109-1012.) Hamlet’s eyes never lose focus on Ophelia. The calm after the emotional storm, a language only true lovers understand.
To conclude these looks into the eyes and mind of Shakespeare, remember this. Movement is not just something that a person does with their body but what a writer does with his words moving you to different points of views and places. Shakespeare had a great deal of knowledge about emotion and how people express them . Knowing that someone is not going to show the pain that they might be feeling in the same way with different people. This scene seemed transparent until we found rose colored stain glass look at it through a lovers lense.