“There’s Rosemary, that’s for Remembrance:” Suicide Ideation and Portraying Ophelia’s Madness

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Ophelias madness, Hamlet, suicide


Ophelia’s madness in Hamlet is too often portrayed or understood in a generalized fashion. Historical analysis of the play, as well as historical and recent reviews of Ophelia’s performance show how Ophelia has been considered a character controlled by outside forces, and her madness lacking direction or purpose. Applying the concept of suicide ideation to the character’s actions illuminates both our historical understanding of the character, and provides modern day performers a cohesive and focused model from which to draw.

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