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Written by Sari2
(5/26/2003 4:54 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Ophelia's passivity, penned by Line
] Another thing: up to the beginning of the twentieth century, *obedience* was considered a positive value in a way I think we hardly realize anymore, especially children's obedience of their parents, and even more so for females in general. If you look at old advice books, they're always talking about the virtues of obedience!
True, but Shakespeare created a number of heroines who were witty, active and stood up against authority to do the right thing or to get what they wanted. There are number of examples in the comedies, but even in the tragedies Cordelia refuses to suck up to her father, Desdemona defies the conventions of the whole society to get her man and even those two utter idiots, Romeo and Juliet chose love before obedience and are celebrated for it.
So why in this play has Shakespeare chosen to create such a fragile and passive creature? Is her character "sacrificed" to accommodate such themes like action/inaction, sanity/madness and virtue in a woman? Or does the fact that Hamlet (apparently) loves/loved such a tabula rasa of a character say something of Hamlet? Or am I just letting my Ophelia hate cloud me so much that I am missing something central in the play?
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