quinta-feira, 11 de julho de 2013
My obsession with Ophelia became notorious once I read "Hamlet", then I immediately felt that she was the typical submissive girl against whom awful things were being done, unfair things. This would be the ideal in the medieval ages: a woman who thought nothing, wondered nothing, said nothing, did nothing. A woman shaped to the convenience of men and their pleasures.
Even though Ophelia was the stereotype of the ideal lamb-like, fair, quiet and simple minded medieval woman, Hamlet thought she was a "whore" and thought she was plotting something against him. Well, not her but her father, Polonius, and she was blindly obeying.
Hamlet was the true mad person in this play, and it's not that he didn't have his reasons, but he was incredibly unfair to the one who truly loved him, and also lied to her. If he really did love her, he wouldn't have changed his mind so easily.
I admit that at first I identified with a lot of Hamlet's sayings and words, but once he was cruel and showed no mercy to poor Ophelia, I obsessed with her and how her grief and disappointment led her to death. A death that is meant to be accidental but to me, it was suicide. Shakespeare had a very genius way to quietly tell that she had committed suicide, which was very clever of him since Christianity saw that subject as the ultimate sin, and since Ophelia was such a virtuous, fair and loving lady to the audience and to the characters themselves, except for Hamlet.
Many people say that Hamlet himself is at times, in the play, way too ahead of his time, something I partially agree. But most of the times he shows himself as such a raw, cruel and sexist man, as most of the medieval men were. To me, his ideas are, sometimes, very clever and well thought, for example, in his soliloquy where the famous "To be or not to be" line appears or when seeks revenge for the assassination of his father, but most of them are just ignorant and despicable.
Anyway, as to the whole Ophelia's death scene, there are always represented a lot of flowers surrounding her, floating flowers, something that intensifies the tragedy. And the fact that the scene mentions willows and climbing a tree but then falling down has also its meaning. Willows usually symbolize anything that is related to feminine entities, but also symbolizes deep and powerful emotions, as well as dreaming. I think that the symbolism of this tree, this beautiful tree, tells us everything: the despair, the grief, the lunacy, the maddening of Ophelia.
In my opinion, Ophelia was not an ignorant young girl, on the contrary, she was really clever but she was forced to keep that intelligence to herself, otherwise punishments would await her. I think Ophelia, if she was an actual woman, she would be ahead of time and that's exactly why such tragedies and heartbreaking events drove her to madness and consequently, death (suicide, in my opinion).