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Reviving Ophelia’s Song

By Sam Sarafin, V Form

Reviving Ophelia’s Song

What happens to a life so battered and bruised under the gift wrap of perfection? What happens to a life

Beilfuss-Ophelia-24x36 whose opportunities have been seized by another, whose ideals and self-importance are plucked out of fingertips before they even left a print? In the play Hamlet by William Shakespeare, Ophelia is often depicted as well-composed and sophisticated. When Ophelia sings a song before her death, she can attribute the meaning of the lyrics to one feeling or event – most often, this meaning is madness or grief. While Ophelia sang this song to convey her distress, there are many hidden meanings in the lyrics. Ophelia’s song is not an expression of one event or one feeling – it is the verbalization of grief over Polonius and Hamlet and a scrutiny of Gertrude’s portrayal of love. In it, Ophelia laments about patriarchal society and the way she had been controlled and used. (more…)