Ophelia Critical Essay

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Essay about Ophelia: Harshly Criticized

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Hamlet, a tragedy written by William Shakespeare in the 16th century, has been subject to evaluation for centuries. Each character has been broken down and analyzed. The psychology of each character has been examined. Every relationship has been studied to find more answer surrounding the play. Harold Bloom and Sigmund Freud have examined it extensively. Scholars have dissected all parts of the play. One character that has recently been analyzed more and more is Ophelia. She has been defended by feminists and criticized by many who believed she was mad. In their article and revisions, “Representing Ophelia: Women, Madness, and the Responsibilities of Feminist Criticism,” from Shakespeare and the Question of Theory, edited by Patricia…show more content…

Hamlet, a tragedy written by William Shakespeare in the 16th century, has been subject to evaluation for centuries. Each character has been broken down and analyzed. The psychology of each character has been examined. Every relationship has been studied to find more answer surrounding the play. Harold Bloom and Sigmund Freud have examined it extensively. Scholars have dissected all parts of the play. One character that has recently been analyzed more and more is Ophelia. She has been defended by feminists and criticized by many who believed she was mad. In their article and revisions, “Representing Ophelia: Women, Madness, and the Responsibilities of Feminist Criticism,” from Shakespeare and the Question of Theory, edited by Patricia Parker and Geoffrey Hartman, the authors, being feminist critics, defend Ophelia and criticize the way she is treated and undermined as a minor character. The role of Ophelia in the play Hamlet is underappreciated and over criticized due to her developed psychosis following her rejection by Hamlet. However, Ophelia’s role is more than just a sexual arousal for Hamlet and psychosis for psychiatrist and specifically male critics to examine. Scholars and critics throughout history have turned Ophelia into “an insignificant minor character” (Elaine Showalter). She lives in the shadow of Hamlet. Shakespeare has given Hamlet a back story while the reader has no clue what Ophelia’s past is like. Lee Edwards, a feminist critic, “concludes that is

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