Hamlet- Ophelia

David Leverenz “Gertrude’s inconsistancy not only brings on disgust and incestuous feelings, it is also the sign of diseased doubleness in everyone who has accommodated to his or her social role.”
R.D. Laing “The divided self: in her madness, there is no one there. She is not a person. There is no integral selfhood expressed through her actions or utterances… She has already died. There is now only a vacuum where there was a person.”
David Levernez “…there are many voices in Ophelia’s madness speaking through her…none of them her own.She becomes the mirror for a mad-inducing world.”
David Levernez “[Ophelia’s] history is an instance of how someone can be driven mad by having her inner feelings misrepresented, not responded to, or acknowledged only through chastiement and repression. From her entrance on, Ophelia must continually respond to commands which imply distrust even as they compel obedience.”
David Levernez “[Ophelia] has no choice but to say ‘I shall obey, my lord'”
David Levernez “Not allowed to love and unable to be false, Ophelia breaks. She goes mad rather than gets mad. Even in her madness she has no voice of her own, only is discord of other voices and expectations, customs gone awry.”
David Levernez “[Ophelia] is a play within a play, or a player trying to respond to several imperious directors at once. Everyone has used her: Polonius, to gain favour; Laertes, to belittle Hamlet; Claudius, to spy on Hamlet; Hamlet to express rage at Gertrude; and Hamlet again, to express his feigned madness with her as a decoy. She is valued for the roles that further other people’s plots.”
Elaine Showalter “For most critics of Shakespeare, Ophelia has been an insignificant minor character in the play, touching in her weakness and madness but chiefly interesting, of course, in what she tells us about Hamlet.”
Lee Edwards “We can imagine Hamlets story without Ophelia, But Ophelia literally has no story without Hamlet.”
Elaine Showalter “Since the 1970s… we have had a feminist discourse which has offered a new perspective on Ophelia’s madness as a protest and rebellion. For many feminist theorists, the madwoman was a heroine, a powerful figure who rebels against the family and the social order…”
Rebecca Smith “Gertrude, in Shakespeare’s Hamlet, has traditionally been played as sensual, deceitful woman.”
Rebecca Smith “…when one closely examines Gertrude’s actual speech and actions in an attempt to understand the character, one finds little that hints at hypocrisy , suppression, or uncontrolled passion and their implied complexity.”
Rebecca Smith “Gertrude appears in only ten of the twenty scenes that compromise the play; furthermore she speaks very little, having less dialogue than any other charactor in hamlet… she speaks plainly, directly, and chastely when she does speak… Gertrude’s brief speaches include referances to honour, virtue [etc]; neither structure nor content suggests wantonness.”
Rebecca Smith “Gertrude believes that quiet women best women best please men, and pleasing men is Gertrude’s main interest.”
Rebecca Smith “Gertrude has not moved toward independence or a heightened moral stance; only her divided loyalties and her unhappiness intensify.”

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