Her shock is genuine when Hamlet demands "get thee to a nunnery" (line 120).
The connotations of the dual meaning of "nunnery" is enough in and of itself to make her run estranged from her once sweet prince, and it is the beginning or her sanity's unraveling as well.
It is short-lived, however, and Hamlet again retakes his vengeance upon his father's murderer --using his ! "He realizes that his emotions are often going to rush beyond his control [and] the fiction that he is mad will not only cloak his designs against the King, but will also free him from the rest of the play" (Campbell 104).
It is his fiction that is the leading cause of Ophelia's demise as well as his own.
We are able to discern that his harsh attitude toward his daughter at the beginning of the play may not be cruel for cruelty's sake; Polonius may actually be showing signs that he is overly protective of Ophelia and instructs her to deny Hamlet's "tenders" because they represent a threat toward his position as her father.
We might also infer that as Ophelia's only parent for such a great duration in her young life that Polonius may actually favored her -letting her act as the replacement for her mother in her father's life.
Before this scene, he has heard the King and Polonius establishing a plan to deduce his unusual and grief-stricken behavior.
Hamlet is well aware that this plan merely uses Ophelia as a tool, and as such, she does not have much option of refusing without angering not only her busybody father but the conniving King as well. He tells her and all of his uninvited listeners, "No, not I, I never gave you aught" (lines 94-95). Dover Wilson, that Hamlet has a right to direct his anger to Ophelia because even though many critics "in their sy!
It is the poor Ophelia who suffers at her lover's discretion because of decisions she was obligated to make on behalf of her weak societal position.
Hamlet provides his own self-torture and does fall victim to melancholia and grief, however, his madness is feigned.