Ophelia is surrounded by performance, Hamlet’s acting at being mad, Claudius acting at being just, Polonius acting at wisdom, the Queen’s acting at innocence (if she helped kill Old Hamlet). Steenbergh further states, “the forms, moods, and shapes in which an emotion is expressed can change the course of the emotion itself” (95). As each of these characters perform and express emotions they are slowly altered by this acting. Polonius mistakingly thinks himself to be astute as he continuously misinterprets situations, Claudius thinks he is a just king and capable of planning murder (we saw how well that went the second time around). This is a world of false fronts and performance and the audience can see how Ophelia internalizes this behavior as she is ordered to act in certain ways, losing a little of herself and yet demanding recognition, seeking a form of expression that is her own. Continue reading “Ophelia’s Agency: Part 3”
If we now return to Laertes, Ophelia’s expression of agency in these constraints of being an unmarried noblewoman can be seen more clearly. At the moment of their parting, in an action that proves he really is Polonius’s son, Laertes gives his sisters advice in the form of a lengthy lecture. He describes the virtues of chastity and innocence, the need to distance herself from Hamlet since he knows his place as a prince and therefore can’t marry her. Safaei and Hashim state why this concern for chastity so deeply engrains this scene, “Within the context of Shakespeare’s era, a woman devoid of her virginity cannot exist, for it is chastity those constitutes all her existence” (311). Continue reading “Ophelia’s Agency: Part 2”
The character of Ophelia, or more accurately the bodily representation of Ophelia, has taken on a life of its own outside of William Shakespeare’s famous play, Hamlet. Most will acknowledge that when they hear the name Ophelia, images of a beautiful, overly sexualized girl trapped in a stream surrounded by flowers comes to mind. This image comes with ideas of naivety, innocence, and fragility, the traits many associate with the character of Ophelia. To be blunt, she has been reduced to little more than an object in the imagination of audiences. This reduction has been pervasive and shapes the way Hamlet is interpreted and viewed, particularly in high school classrooms. Interpreters, like Mohammad Safaei and Ruzy Suliza Hashim, see Ophelia as a character without agency, who plays no role outside that of a pawn to be moved by the whims of the male characters. One can understand this view in light of Ophelia’s submission to her father and her reality as the butt of many an obscene joke. However, despite these realities Ophelia is a more complicated and intriguing character than has been previously stated, and in recent years critics, like Magda Romanska and Alex Macconchie, have studied particular scenes in Hamlet and found them to reveal moments of female agency for Ophelia. Following in these scholars footsteps, I believe that Ophelia, in fact, expresses agency, despite common opinion. Working within the political constraints of a new power regime and the social role of noblewomen, Ophelia critiques men who try to control her behavior and demands their recognition of her desire in word and deed. There are three particular areas that reflect this attempt to exercise agency, her family relationships, her public persona, and her suicide. I will work to expose the nuances available in a theatrical text and show her character as being more than only submissive and fragile. Continue reading “Ophelia’s Agency: Part 1”
The tree bark clung to the back of his bare knees as he stretched back, leaning his broad shoulders against the trunk. The fabric of his shorts was torn, dirt-stained and grass streaked. His bare feet were crossed at the ankles, as he lounged in the embrace of the great oak. Continue reading “Character Study: Scent of Life”
In Borrof’s translation of the poem the “Pearl”, she uses the word “peer” in response to several Middle English words throughout the poem. The first instance of the word “peer” comes early in the poem in line 8 where the dreamer or speaker of the poem states, “Ever my mind was bound and bent/ to set her apart without a peer” (ll.7-8). This use of the word peer conveys his extreme depression while also showing how he idolizes and upholds this lost pearl to a higher standard. It is both a homage and an idolization of his lost pearl, which gives the reader a sense of how the speaker’s mind is clouded by the grief of mourning and is unable to see that which has been lost as anything other than perfection. Borrof translates this line from the Middle English in which it is written, “Queresoever I jugged gemmes gaye/ I sette hyr sengeley in synglure” (ll. 7-8) The word the poet used was synglure, which means to have singleness or uniqueness, which I find to be a beautiful word choice. This paints less of an image of grief-driven idolization and instead an admiration for the unique life of what was lost. Peer placed the pearl above all others while “synglure” adores her for her singular qualities. Continue reading “Pearl the Power of Prose”
<= Chapter 11 Chapter 13 Comming Soon=>
M.A.L.C.O.L.M kept his back exactly vertical, perching himself on the edge of Olivia’s couch, Tami sat across and to the side of him, her two children on the floor, all three content to blatantly stare at him. Olivia sat beside him, posture matching his, her discomfort evident.
“So…Malcolm was it?”
“How did you meet Olivia?”
“We spoke in the elevator on her first day at Donovan Towers.”
“First day…but that was over three years ago…how come I’ve never heard of you?”
“I am sure Miss Moore had her reasons.”
Olivia felt like throwing up, her world’s were colliding, crashing and burning in a spectacular fashion. She had hoped Tami would be gone by the time M.A.L.C.O.L.M arrived, no such luck. Now Tami’s curiosity was piqued and there would be no stopping her till she knew everything.
Vladimir Nabokov’s fascinating and shudder-inducing novel Lolita is full of irony and wit. One scene that powerfully explores this irony is when Charlotte Haze the mother of Humbert Humbert’s obsessive love, confesses her own love for Humbert. The letter is full of coincidental and strange references to her emotions and life that echo the truth of Humbert’s reality. Her words work to powerfully draw his world into stark focus. Continue reading “The Naivety of Charlotte: Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov”
“The Turn of the Screw” by Henry James is a startling story about a Governess convinced her young wards are consorting with ghosts. The tale has its basis in Realism and yet its intrigue lies in its fanciful aspects. One such characteristic is the young governesses devotion and apparent love for Mile’s and Flora’s Uncle and Guardian. Unnamed, we shall call him the Master. Though we never directly meet him, his character is made known to the reader through characters comments and his lack of presence. Continue reading “The Character of the Children’s Guardian in “The Turn of the Screw” by Henry James”
A first scene to a new story idea of mine:
She liked to flirt with darkness, and darkness liked to flirt back. This inclination got her into a lot of trouble. This time it saved her.
A member of the research outpost of Riva-3, Raielyn’s job was that of psychological and sociological chronicler, which was simply a fancy term for someone who documents the human experience of life on a remote outpost. Truthfully she wasn’t even a psychologist or sociologist she had a Ph.D. in English, who even had one of those, and an ability to speak to the truths of the human experience in laymen terms. Due to her ability, she was chosen for this mission, and due to her faults, a Dr. Rivera had been sent with her to fulfill the more technical aspects of her job.
The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner is an intense tale of the life of a troubled family. The first section of the novel is told from the point of view of Benjy, a character with mental disabilities, who during the time period of the novel is labeled as an idiot. The title of the novel and the set up for this part comes from a speech from William Shakespeare’s famous play Macbeth, and many of the same themes and ideas occur in both the play and novel. Continue reading “Macbeth Imagery in the Sound and The Fury by William Faulkner”