And so have I a noble father lost, A sister driven into desperate terms, Whose worth, if praises may go back again, Stood challenger on mount of all the age For her perfections.

Maybe seeing your sister as perfect contributed to the problems, Laertes. Maybe it might have been better for her mental health to see her as a human being instead of a perfect woman standing on a mount.
I mean – Hamlet describes his father as “a man. Take him for all in all. I shall not look upon his like again.”
That’s a human way of looking at someone. (Of course he also idolizes his father with that Hyperion nonsense…but that’s another story.)
Women are always expected to be perfect. This line tells me that it has been ever thus. We are not permitted the same indulgence of humanity. We are meant to achieve perfection in our looks, perfection in our behavior. We are never allowed to make mistakes. I think if Ophelia’s family had made space for her to be human instead of perfect, she might have survived this play.


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