This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

The Symbolism Of Ophelia’s Character Essay

715 words - 3 pages

The Symbolism of Ophelia’s Character
The name Ophelia has been most commonly associated with William Shakespeare's play, Hamlet, where she is referred to as the title character's mad lover. She is believed to have killed herself out of madness by drowning herself in a river. Interpretations about Ophelia's character have ranged from being a woman who lost her sanity upon her father, Polonius' death to being the object of hatred by Hamlet. However, despite her supporting character in the play, her personality has roused numerous criticisms and interpretations from philosophers and critics. This is probably due to the fact that her role in the play is more of a descriptive character rather than a speaking one. There are also various symbolisms towards the current society such as gender issues which her character represents. The character of Ophelia portrays relevant symbolisms to the feminine history which is continuously open to different interpretations from the sixteenth century up to this present day. Ophelia's character embodies the intrinsic sexual struggle that women in her time have commonly encountered.
The concept of religion in Ophelia's apparent pious character roused several critiques discussing the relevance of the Catholic religion in her sexuality. In Chapman's article, she argues that the history of England's religion reflects that of Ophelia's time as Gertrude reports her drowning while “chanting snatches of old lauds / As one incapable of her own distress” (qtd. in Chapman, 112). Gertrude is most probably referring to Ophelia's sexual frustration when she reports about Ophelia's “[incapability] of her own distress”. As a woman passionately and physically in love with a man who seems to hate her for no apparent reason, resorting to madness is a plausible escape. According to Chapman, “By showing Ophelia's emotional and imaginative landscape scattered with the debris of old doctrines and ritual practices, Shakespeare uses her final madness to reflect on the costs—especially to women—of the English Reformation” (112). The costs of such religions refers to the madness and ultimately the death of Ophelia. It can be presumed through Chapman's statement that the Catholic religion puts more pressure down on Ophelia as...

Find Another Essay On The Symbolism of Ophelia’s Character

Symbolism Of "The Yellow Wallpaper

2249 words - 9 pages Upon a normal and very literal reading of Charlotte Perkins Gilman's "The Yellow Wallpaper", the main character, a woman, appears to be a mad and raving lunatic. Throughout the story she rants and raves about the strange yellow wallpaper in the colonial mansion that she is forced to stay in for a short period of time while she is recovering from depression. She does not stop at talking about how strange she finds the wallpaper in the mansion

Symbolism of the Warka Vase Essay

1063 words - 5 pages The Warka Vase is a uniquely large piece that was laboriously built, and carefully decorated. The images on the Warka Vase are significant and have iconographic meanings unique to the Uruk people and the cult of Inana. The images reference common practices in cuneiform and iconography of the time and place the Warka Vase was made and can be cross compared with other pieces from the time to understand the symbolism of this brilliant piece of art

Lord of the Flies Symbolism

1552 words - 7 pages - if not slightly embellished - as the novel progresses, with a key theme being civilisation versus savagery. Throughout the novel Golding exploits the use of symbolism in order to establish this theme. Among the most prominent symbols in Lord of the Flies is undoubtedly the conch shell, in all its natural beauty. The conch symbolises certain attributes of mankind, such as civilisation, democracy and order. As the novel progresses this becomes

The Symbolism of Heorot Hall

1390 words - 6 pages written from that time period. In the epic poem Beowulf, the author utilizes characterization of women, and symbolism of Heorot Hall, and depictions of brotherly love to show that loyalty is needed to keeping harmony within a society that is under constant threats. The characterization of women proves that loyalty is essential to having a harmonious society that is under perpetual threats. Near the middle of the poem, a minstrel performs a

The Symbolism of Self Violence

2078 words - 8 pages The Symbolism of Self Violence I enrolled in this class in semiotics in order to see if the semiotic approach would give me a greater understanding or give meaning to what I do for a living. It seems natural that I would try to employ the method with the problems that vex me the most. I hope that any reader of this text will appreciate the attempt at interpretation of meaning and not focus on the sensationalism or strangeness of the

The Power of Literary Symbolism

788 words - 4 pages Symbols in literacy are tremendously important to make a story more than what it may seem at first glance, but in the story Lord of the Flies symbolism is taken to a new extreme. Nearly everything mentioned in this story embodies something that assists in creating a life lesson from which all people can learn. A symbol is an item or idea within a story that represents a deeper meaning. Throughout this story each symbol has a strong connection

The lord of flies symbolism

727 words - 3 pages first and act proper” A major symbol is the character Simon. Simon symbolizes of goodness, and is the christ figure. He is the only one who is nice to the littleluns and who tries to tell all the boys on the island that the beastie is not real and that its just inside their head. He tries to explain that the physical beast is not real only the beast inside all of us. Simon makes a simple statement in the book, “ maybe there is a beast”. The

The Character of Ophelia

526 words - 2 pages The Character of Ophelia In Shakespeare’s tragedies, the characters all have flaws that eventually lead to their undoing. In the play Hamlet, the character of Ophelia is ultimately killed by her flaw. It is apparent that Ophelia is an obedient person but, upon closer inspection, the audience can see that she is not merely obedient. Ophelia’s thoughts and actions go beyond obedience to show that she is a weak and entirely dependent

The Character of Othello

2162 words - 9 pages The Character of Othello        Shakespeare's Othello is not simply a play which embodies the conflict between insider and outsider. The paradigm of otherness presented in this play is more complicated than the conclusion, "Othello is different; therefore, he is bad." Othello's character is to be revered. He is a champion among warriors; an advisor among councilmen; a Moor among Venetians. Yes, Othello is a Moor, but within the initial

The Dynamics of Character

1138 words - 5 pages The Dynamics of CharacterIt is a universally acknowledged truth that the key to attaining immortality is to achieve historical significance and forever be remembered in history. The past presidents of the United States have thus accomplished what Ponce de Leon could not, by taking part in events that have shaped history. However, many are not remembered for their character, but rather for their deeds. Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry S. Truman

The character of cathrine

1075 words - 4 pages PAGE PAGE 1 Kamal Fayoum universityFaculty of ArtsEnglish departmentPre-masterThe Character of Catherine Barkley in "A Farewell to Arms"Prepared by:Manal KamalTo:Professor. Manal AnwarManal KamalDr / Manal Anwar11 May 2014The Character of Catherine Barkley in "A Farewell to Arms"Catherine Barkley is a static character in the novel; that is, she does not undergo any major transformation over the course of A Farewell to Arms. Apparently she has

Similar Essays

One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest. Character Analysis, Symbolism, What Is "Truth"?. Lots Of Quotes

1858 words - 7 pages angle than those who experience life within it. Like many things, it is easier to see the truth while on the outside, getting a total view, getting the big picture. This is one of the reasons why Chief is the ideal character for the role of narrator in this novel. He has experienced life inside the "Combine", as he refers to it, and from the outside, as an onlooker from the asylum. Much of his knowledge was gained through, "...acting deaf [so he

The Art Of Symbolism Essay

713 words - 3 pages of survival of the fittest. Ironically, at the end of the book, a naval officer was their savior. Readers in the twenty-first century can learn from classic and outdated works that human behavior is the same regardless of the time period. Humans can and may resort to violence if the social and environmental conditions are right. History and current events show the thoughts of Golding are still valid today. Over the years symbolism, has played a

The Power Of Symbolism Essay

775 words - 4 pages A symbol is any “‘object, act, event, quality, or relation which serves as a vehicle for conception’” (230). Peyote Hunt: The Sacred Journey of the Huichol Indians by Barbara Myerhoff is a very intricate text which involves numerous aspects of symbolism. Myerhoff not only applies a much deeper meaning to deer, maize, and peyote, but she also uses these objects as a representation of divine beings and spirits. The deer, maize, and peyote are

The Symbolism Of Ophelia's Death Essay

1472 words - 6 pages It is widely believed that “Living life without honor is a tragedy bigger than death itself” and this holds true for Hamlet’s Ophelia. Ophelia’s death symbolizes a life spent passively tolerating Hamlet’s manipulations and the restrictions imposed by those around her, while struggling to maintain the last shred of her dignity. Ophelia’s apathetic reaction to her drowning suggests that she never had control of her own life, as she was expected to