(Hamlet) Ophelia

  • Created by: NHow02
  • Created on: 24-02-19 18:13
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  • Ophelia
    • As weak
      • 'That sucked the honey of his music vows'
        • 'Blood burns, how prodigal the soul lends the tongue vows'
          • Protestant belief that the Devil arrives in disguise
        • Sensual words 'honey'/ 'music' creates an alluring effect
        • Christian belief in temptation. Ironic as women were seen as 'temptresses'
      • 'Frailty thy name is woman'
    • As a victim
      • 'And from her fair and unpolluted flesh may violets spring'
        • Laertes' perception of Ophelia blind shim to the reality of her death/life
        • Violets represent faithfulness and sexual longing
        • Virginity was considered virtuous and to lose it was destructive to a woman's status
        • Elaine Showalter: There exists 'only a Cubist Ophelia of multiple perspectives'
      • 'Enter Ophelia distracted'/ 'distracted multitude'
        • By giving away her flowers, she is symbolically 'deflowered'
        • 'Hysteria' originates from the latin 'Hyster', which means 'womb'
        • 'sick at heart' corruption spreads and infects others
        • 'weedy trophies'
          • Oxymoron suggests as a highborn lady she is partially exempt from a suicide's funeral
            • Suicide was seen as a sin as your life was not your own, but belonged to God
          • Suggests her virginity is her only virtue, as flowers symbolise fertility
            • Ophelia's 'trophies' are corrupted by society and her means of survival destroyed
          • 'unweeded garden'
            • References the Garden of Eden (but overgrown)
            • Bible teaches that women are subordinate and to blame for the fall of man
    • As a sinner
      • 'Mermaid-like'
        • Mermaids seen as sinister creatures who lured sailors to their deaths
        • 'sea of troubles'
          • Elizabeth audience would have resonated with the dangers of the ocean
            • Sir Frances led glorious escapades (paralleled with wooden ships)
          • Elaine Showalter argues that Ophelia is 'a female counterpart to Hamlet'
      • 'If the sun breed maggots in a dead dog, being a good kissing carrion - Have you a daughter?'
        • 'a breeder of sinners'
          • Hamlet believes all women have the potential for sin
            • Biological Determinism
          • She inadvertently contributes to the corruption of society
          • 'unweeded garden'
            • References the Garden of Eden (but overgrown)
            • Bible teaches that women are subordinate and to blame for the fall of man
        • Cutting 'c' alliteration creates a violent effect + but also suggests brevity
        • 'Carrion' could mean a crow (omen of death) or dead flesh (associates female love with death)
        • 'dead dog' suggests loyalty leads to death OR counts for nothing
        • 'Let her not walk i'th'sun'
          • It could also symbolise the king/'head' of state
          • The 'sun' could represent God due to heavenly imagery

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