Wednesday, 6 March 2013

To muddy death.

'Ophelia' by John Everett Millais

There is a willow grows aslant a brook,That shows his hoar leaves in the glassy stream; There with fantastic garlands did she come Of crow-flowers, nettles, daisies, and long purples That liberal shepherds give a grosser name, But our cold maids do dead men's fingers call them: There, on the pendent boughs her coronet weeds Clambering to hang, an envious sliver broke;
When down her weedy trophies and herself
Fell in the weeping brook. Her clothes spread wide;
And, mermaid-like, awhile they bore her up:
Which time she chanted snatches of old tunes;
As one incapable of her own distress,
Or like a creature native and indued
Unto that element: but long it could not be
Till that her garments, heavy with their drink,
Pull'd the poor wretch from her melodious lay
To muddy death 
(Hamlet, by William Shakespeare)
Ophelia is such an amazing fictional character. Upon my fourth and definitely most enthusiastic reading yet of Hamlet, I have found myself holding on to the image of Ophelia like my personal religious icon, martyr even, memorising every word she speaks on paper, analising every reinterpretation made of her. A symbol of Romanticism, her death, brought by her own hands, is possibly the most beautiful to exist. In the play, her death isn't scened, only spoken of by the Queen (above), which allows a more creative and personal approach to her death. There are a million representations of that and of her life, always with the mystical aura of a water nymph, and always very solemn and pensive. In Shakespeare's play, Ophelia goes mad after a series of unfortunate events which attack to her precious, innocent, undeserving (of cruelty, that is) soul. But, in my heart, Ophelia simply begins to exist on another plane parallel to ours, to everyone's, where looking for logic is illogical and, where if your heart asks you to sleep eternally in the river, you'll lay there and wait for nature to play its part and make you a part of it. 'Ophelia' in Latin means 'help'. But I think the only help she ever needed was the one to get her out of the world she didn't belong in.
That is why Ophelia is my everything, because she didn't succumb to the world, but to nature, which should be the natural thing to do, no?

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