Over the past 400 years, she has moved from the margins to the centre of post-shakespearean discourse, increasingly becoming a female counterpart to hamlet as a portrait of conflict and stress.
Ophelias drowning, which is only described in the play, was also obsessively painted by the english pre-raphaelites, including john everett millais and arthur hughes.
 "colour was a major source of stage symbolism", andrew gurr explains, so the contrast between hamlet's "nighted colour" (1.
The romantic ophelia feels too much, as hamlet thinks too much; she drowns in a surfeit of feeling.
 laertes is outraged by what the cleric says, and replies that ophelia will be an angel in heaven when the cleric "lie[s] howling" in hell.
On the stage, ophelia was costumed in virginal white to contrast with hamlet's scholarly black, and in her mad scene she entered with dishevelled hair, singing bawdy songs, and giving away her flowers, symbolically deflowering herself.
" hamlet asks ophelia where her father is and she lies to him, saying her father must be at home.
Structured, too, the early modern understanding of the distinction between hamlet's madness and ophelia's: melancholy was understood as a male disease of the intellect, while ophelia would have been understood as suffering from erotomania, a malady conceived in biological and emotional terms.
Dating hamlet ophelia's story summary
In giannina braschi's postcolonial novel, united states of banana (2011), is a 21st century passive-aggressive, who threatens to slash her wrists when arguing with her ex-lover hamlet; the staged adaption by juan pablo felix was produced by columbia stages in new york city in 2015.
, in paul griffiths' novel let me tell you (2008), is a derivative of shakespeare's character who tells her story in her own words, in the literal sense that she can use only the words she is given in the play.
In recent years, she has become a strong feminist heroine, even surviving hamlet in some fictional versions of the story, to lead a life of her own.
Last time ophelia appears in the play is after laertes comes to the castle to challenge claudius over the death of his father, polonius.
The plot follows its elizabethan model reasonably closelyexcept that hamlets gotten further with ophelia than even polonius suspects, both ophelia (who sees the dead kings ghost even before horatio does) and her brother laertes are in the know about hamlets feigned madness, and with ophelia supplying the necessary potions, everyones death except that of claudius (and polonius, but see below) is faked.
Before they die they exchange words of forgiveness and the subplot of hamlet and ophelia comes to a close.
At the same time, feminism offered a new perspective on ophelia's madness as protest and rebellion.
According to the critic lee edwards, we can imagine hamlets story without ophelia, but ophelia literally has no story without hamlet.
In this blank verse retelling of the hamlet story, ophelia runs off with a woman servant to join a feminist guerrilla commune.
Her father, polonius, also fears that hamlet will make false vows, and so he demands she end their relationship.
The victorian ophelia a young girl passionately and visibly driven to picturesque madness became the dominant international acting style for the next 150 years, from helena modjeska in poland in 1871, to the 18-year-old jean simmons in the laurence olivier film of 1948.
Based on what ophelia told him, polonius concludes that he was wrong to forbid ophelia from seeing hamlet, and that hamlet must be mad with love for her.
In popular psychology books such as reviving ophelia: saving the souls of adolescent girls (1994) by mary pipher, ophelia has also become a negative model of the self-destructive teenager in contemporary society.
For the elizabethans, hamlet was the prototype of melancholy male madness, associated with intellectual and imaginative genius; but ophelias affliction was erotomania, or love-madness.
 the actor appears to have had some musical ability, as ophelia is given lines from ballads such as walsingham to sing, and, according to the first quarto edition, enters with a lute.
Plot devices of pretended madness, feigned death and amazing rescue have allowed her to survive the trauma of dating hamlet, and to choose her own path.
. polonius reports hamlets strange behavior to claudius, presenting a love letter from hamlet to ophelia.
" gertrude's announcement of ophelia's death has been praised as one of the most poetic death announcements in literature.
Ophelia's funeral, queen gertrude sprinkles flowers on ophelia's grave ("sweets to the sweet"), and says she wished ophelia could have been hamlet's wife (contradicting laertes' warnings to ophelia in the first act).
Act 4 scene 7, queen gertrude reports that ophelia had climbed into a willow tree (there is a willow grows aslant the brook), and the branch had broken and dropped ophelia into the brook, where she drowned.
The operatic version simplifies the plot to focus the drama on hamlet's predicament and its effects on ophelia.
Ophelia's first speaking appearance in the play, she is seen with her brother, laertes, who is leaving for france.
After hamlet storms out, ophelia makes her "o, what a noble mind is here o'erthrown" soliloquy.
Here elaine showalter discusses ophelia's madness as a particularly female malady, showing how from shakespeare's day to our own ophelia has been used both to reflect and to challenge evolving ideas about female psychology and sexuality.
Are three plots in shakespeare's hamlet: the main revenge plot and two subplots involving the romance between hamlet and ophelia, and the looming war with norway.
She is a young noblewoman of denmark, the daughter of polonius, sister of laertes, and potential wife of prince hamlet.
More recently, ophelia has been portrayed by marianne faithfull (1969), helena bonham carter (1990), kate winslet (1996), julia stiles (2000) and gugu mbatha-raw (2009).
^ for one example of praise, see "the works of shakespeare", in 11 volumes (hamlet in volume 10), edited by henry n.
 theatre manager tate wilkinson declared that next to susannah maria cibber, elizabeth satchell (of the famous kemble family) was the best ophelia he ever saw.
In fact, i warn theego not thereophelia recounts machinations of her own in support of hamlets as she struggles, meanwhile, to fend off the leering advances of horatio, claudius, the guard bernardo, and even, latterly, fortinbras.
Jean simmons played ophelia opposite laurence olivier's oscar-winning hamlet performance in 1948; simmons was also nominated for the academy award for best supporting actress.
The 19th-century romantics, especially in france, embraced the madness and sexuality of ophelia that the augustans denied.
A researcher at the british library feels able to assert only that burbage "probably" played hamlet; see its page on hamlet.
 polonius instructs ophelia to stand in the lobby of the castle while he and claudius hide.
" showalter relates a theatrical anecdote that vividly captures this sense of overlap between a performer's identity and the role she plays:Soprano mignon nevada as ophelia in the opera hamlet, circa 1910.
The following is a guide to the significant events in the hamlet and ophelia subplot.
Early modern stage in england had an established set of emblematic conventions for the representation of female madness: dishevelled hair worn down, dressed in white, bedecked with wild flowers, ophelia's state of mind would have been immediately 'readable' to her first audiences.
Hamlet, nearby, then challenges laertes and claims that he loved ophelia more than "forty thousand" brothers could.
Images and staged photographs of ophelia-like mad women, taken in asylums and hospitals, anticipated the fascination with the erotic trance of the hysteric which would be studied by the parisian neurologist jean-martin charcot and his student sigmund freud.
Polonius immediately decides to go to claudius, the new king of denmark and also hamlet's uncle and stepfather, about the situation.
Character of ophelia has fascinated directors, actresses, writers and painters since she first appeared on stage.
At ophelia's next appearance, after her father's death, she has gone mad, due to what the other characters interpret as grief for her father.
The most innovative and influential of delacroix's lithographs is la mort d'ophlie (1843), showing ophelia half-suspended in the stream as her dress slips from her body.
Hamlet is overcome with grief and cries, "i loved ophelia: forty thousand brothers/could not, with all their quantity of love/make up my sum.
-century psychiatrists used ophelia as a case study in hysteria and mental breakdown in sexually turbulent adolescence.
Hamlet enters the room in a different world from the others, and recites his "to be, or not to be" soliloquy.
 this discourse of female madness influenced ophelia's representation on stage from the 1660s, when the appearance of actresses in the english theatres first began to introduce "new meanings and subversive tensions" into the role: "the most celebrated of the actresses who played ophelia were those whom rumor credited with disappointments in love.
Next time ophelia appears is at the "mousetrap play," which hamlet has arranged in order to try to prove that claudius killed king hamlet.