The last time Hamlet saw Ophelia he was breaking up with her, quite cruelly. He left her in tears, convinced he’d lost his mind. He’d said some really shitty things, told her to get her to a nunnery a bunch of times and then fucked right off without even saying farewell. And now he’s asking her if he should lie in her lap? Bad news, Ophelia, this guys is Bad News.The minute you dry your eyes, he comes swanning back again, all charm and dirty jokes and chitty chat.
I’d like Ophelia to be able to say something like, “Have you forgotten what a dick you were to me not long ago? Wasn’t that you who told me to get me to a nunnery? And now you want to cuddle up to me and lie in my goddamn lap? Who do you think you are, Prince of Denmark?
It’s like Hamlet forgets what he did before and I think the audience forgets, too. We like this merry Hamlet and want Ophelia to welcome him, enjoy him and we forget how he’s just left her.