Critics of Hamlet: Ophelia

Ophelia’s madness: HAROLD BLOOM Ophelia went mad with guilt because Hamlet killing Polonius fulfilled her sexual desire that they could be together
Ophelia’s madness: ELAINE SHOWALTER (males) Ophelia is driven to madness when her three male role models – Polonius, Laertes and Hamlet all leave
Ophelia’s madness: BRIDGET LYONS (appearance) Ophelia’s “symbolic meaning” encapsulated in her appearance is her femininity.On the Elizabethan stage, Ophelia was dress in white with her hair down in her insanity represents her innocence and yet also how she has been sexually affected by Hamlet: having your hair down indicated madness or rape. Presents her as the sexual madwoman as well as the “rose of may” (implying she is a virgin)
Ophelia’s madness: BRIDGET LYONS (suicide) The “symbolic meaning” encapsulated in her method of suicide also fits ‘the conventions of female insanity’Drowning was considered a feminine death Flowers that surrounded her as she drowned imply her sexual discord caused by Hamlet’s treatment of her.Ophelia feels too much and thus ‘drowns in a surfeit of feeling’
Ophelia’s madness: ELAINE SHOWALTER (erotomania) Erotomania means love madness. This was what the Elizabethans believed Ophelia’s madness was
Ophelia feminism: