First of all, in these three masterpieces, Ophelia's physical description is quite corresponding and always associated with the colour white, even though this connection has different undertones. On stage and between the pages of those two novels, she is immediately related to the most delicate, brightest and purest colour. Furthermore, she is usually described by the adjectives “fair” and “white”, largely used in particular by Holderness. Evidently, being Gertrude and Claudius a prequel and The Prince of Denmark a sequel of the Shakespearean play, the reader can imagine her age to be slightly different, but no signs of these changes can be found in the texts. This could be a proof of how everlasting her beauty is, not touched by the passing of time.
In the play, her "virginal and vacant white" creates a striking contrast between Hamlet's "nighted colour" , his “solemn black" . Shakespeare's Hamlet also defines h...
... middle of paper ...
...dius kill her trying to do a Caesarean section. If Shakespeare’s Ophelia has maybe set herself free from a world she was too honest to live in, here she is set free by somebody else. Once again, the reader is sympathetic with her, since she is unable to decide anything about her destiny.
In conclusion, Ophelia’s personality had often been ignored or conceived just as a secondary character. However, with the passing of time, she started to draw the attention of many critics who understood how significant she was. The evolution of Ophelia’s representation affected her appearances, her personality, her madness and death. Still connected to her tragic fate, she has become a woman more and more linked to her femininity and sexuality. As John Updike and Graham Holderness show, she has travelled throughout cultures but can still be considered interestingly up-to-date.
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