Saturday, August 26, 2006

By The Way, Ophelia Is Pregnant

Real penny drop of an argument:
"A girl who has been seduced and abandoned need fear nothing but a broken heart, provided there is no evidence of her shame. But if she is pregnant, then there is no way to hide what she has done, unless she can abort the child, or kill herself. And, indeed, shortly thereafter, Ophelia drowns herself. The conventional interpretation is that Hamlet has broken her heart and then killed her father. But the play seems to suggest strongly that Hamlet has seduced her, and to hint that she is pregnant as well."
I've never seen this extrapolated out into a production and I suppose if anyone did decide to blend it in there would be hackles. But given the textual analysis that has been carried out on the play and the amount of reading I've been doing I can't believe I haven't noticed this before. [via]

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