Shakespeare has given us many great female character, the devious Lady Macbeth (Macbeth), quick witted Beatrice (Much Ado about Nothing) and naive Juliet (Romeo and Juliet). If you are like me and you like tragic women, then there is no substitute is Ophelia from ‘Hamlet’, strange since I have not read ‘Hamlet’ nor seen an adaptation.
I became enamoured with Ophelia quite by accident. I absolutely fell in love with painting of Ophelia drowning by Paul Steck (bottom picture) as when I was about 16 and had never anything so beautiful and sad, at the same time. While searching the Internet for this image for my personal collection, I found other depictions of poor Ophelia submerged in sorrow. Hence the fascination began.
Have a basic understanding of Ophelia’s role in ‘Hamlet’, she is to be messed about the neurotic and self absorbed Hamlet and unable to take anymore she drowned herself. Granted she does not appeared to have been a well written character and there is no real consequence of her death. That to me makes her more tragic, because even the writer who created her does not appear to care for her. Her tragedy is that she is not written to be a great tragic figure, she is simply brushed aside. At least in art she is recognised and acknowledged forever.