Nala and Ophelia
Relationship with a Prince
Nala and Ophelia have similarities, but they also have a large amount of differences since they are more of supporting characters; however, their relationships with the princes are what connect them. Opehlia has a strained relationship with Hamlet, but Queen Gertrude states, “I hoped thou shouldst have been my Hamlet’s wife; / I thought thy bride-bed to have decked, sweet maid,” (Shakespeare, trans. 1992, 5.1.255-256); this could imply that before the play takes place, Ophelia and Hamlet may have been closer than the arguing and chaos that takes play on stage. As cubs, Simba and Nala have a similar relationship. Nala is stronger than Simba when it comes to pouncing and pinning down an opponent, but they are best friends. Zazu, the assistant to the king, informs them that they are meant to be married; when the cubs oppose Zazu replies, “Well, sorry to burst your bubble, but you two turtle-doves have no choice. It’s a tradition going back generations” (Minkoff & Allers, 1994). Zazu’s statement proves to be true when Nala and Simba are reunited as adults and fall in love and just before the end credits, they are seen together while Rafiki, the Pride Land’s shaman, holds up their cub for the land to see.
Ophelia is a famous character because of how her life ended in the play. After Hamlet had accidentally killed her father, thinking it was Claudius, Ophelia goes mad out of sorrow, much like Hamlet had, but rather than being unable to control her anger, she goes insane and nothing she says makes sense to the other characters. When Hamlet is sent to England by Claudius, she drowns herself. Nala does mourn for the loss of Mufasa and she mourned for Simba too when she believed he was dead, but she does not go mad. When Nala and Simba are reunited as adults, during the song “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” Simba swings off a vine into the pool they were drinking from and then pulls Nala in the water with him. Rather than drowning like Ophelia, she quickly leaps out of the water with a horrified expression like the traditional view of cats disliking water. Nala escapes from the water, symbolizing she is not Ophelia, but she also expresses shock from being in the water, still making the connection.
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Minkoff, R. & Allers, R. (Producer/Director). (1994). The Lion King [Motion Picture]. United States: Walt Disney
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Shakespeare, W. (1992). Hamlet. United States: A Washington Square Press