This distortion of what Ophelia really is helps us to understand what Hamlet values most.Once again, the heated and perhaps over-exaggerated nature of his reaction reveals the degree to which the man is haunted by the idea that no-one, not even the woman he loves with all, "Holy vows heaven" is honest.
Interestingly, many of the critical insights we gain into Hamlet's character from his relationship with Ophelia, can only be fully understood in the light of his relationship with Gertrude.
Horror and disgust at his mother's behaviour, and a spreading and deepening of that horror to include all life, dominates the soul of Hamlet.
In his interactions with the, "Foolish prating knave," Hamlet reveals his comic genius, his potential for ruthless action, his distaste for dishonesty, and disgust at sycophancy.
Again and again, Hamlet mocks Polonius in order to reveal his fawning sycophancy.
He was a renaissance man and embraced renaissance values.
He had a love of learning, was the embodiment of beauty, and despite what he says of himself, he was seen by others as being courageous.Hamlet is one of the most complex characters in literature.From his friendships with Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to his tense relationship with his mother and Claudius, it is clear that these contribute to shaping Hamlet's core values.When the relationship has soured beyond repair and Hamlet is aware of their, "Practices," and that they, "Must sweep [his] way and marshal [him] to knavery," he reacts in a pitilessly cold fashion.The importance of Hamlet's relationship with this pair lies in the fact that it helps us understand why he becomes so ruthless in the second half of the play, and reveals just how much he values loyalty.In his eyes she is little more than liar who has like, so many other people in his life, prostituted herself on the altar of self-preservation.Hamlet's reaction to what he perceives as her disloyalty reveals to us that he values honesty, truth and what might be termed as moral beauty.Horatio has proven his loyalty to Hamlet by recounting the events of the Ghost's arrival to him rather than seeking self-advancement by going to Claudius.He recognises Horatio as a kindred spirit and values his friendship, knowing that he can trust him.Hamlet loves his mother dearly and from the first moments they appear together on stage, it is clear that they must have once had a deeply loving and respectful relationship.When Claudius fails to convince Hamlet of the need to stay in Denmark, Gertrude manages to acquire a, "Gentle and unforced accord," from her son, revealing that Hamlet does value his relationship with his mother.