Pity rather than dislike
Written by Anne L
(5/23/2003 12:07 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, GR Passive Ophelia, penned by Sari2
Contrast her with Hamlet, whose "madness" is active, who - despite his dithering - is himself in control all the time manipulating events.
] I also think that Ophelia must be psychologically damaged before she goes mad for the whole situation to be credible.
Good points. Ophelia has no control over those around her, even the men who love her. Hamlet feigns madness, but is actually in control. Ophelia has no control and is mad, in truth.
Shakespeare made her mad because it made the story better! But, of course, he doesn't do such things willy nilly. It was a common view at the time that women were weaker in body and mind, therefore more susceptible to insanity when terribly upset by people and events. So, it probably was not a stretch for the audience to believe that O. could go mad.
I've always felt sorry for O. and liked her despite her passivity. I think she was surviving as women did then, by playing by the rules of men and identifying herself by those men closest to her. I pity rather than despise her. I wonder what I would have done in her situation...