LAERTES: Perhaps he loves you now, and nothing can stain his good intentions. But you must be on your guard.
Remember that he belongs to the royal family, which means that his will is not his own. He is a slave to his family’s obligations.
He cannot simply make personal choices for himself, as common people may, for the health and safety of the entire nation rest on his decisions.
So if he says he loves you, be wise—realize that his words only mean what the state of Denmark allows them to mean.
Think carefully about the shame that would befall you if you gave in to his seductive talk or surrendered the treasure of your virginity to his greedy hands.
Fear it, Ophelia!
Keep your emotions under control, and don’t become a target of his lust.