"Romeo can’t really be blamed for Ophelia’s death."

Senior English major on a Shakespeare final. (via minininny)



How about this, though?


[Editorial Note: This “theory” depends on believing the Romeo and Juliet and Hamlet take place contemporaneously. So, for the sake of argument, let’s all agree that the events of both plays occur in the Spring of 1517 (chosen because of Martin Luther’s 95 Theses, and the Reformational threads that run through Hamlet).]

See, in the Second Quarto and First Folio versions of Romeo and Juliet, a[n extremely minor] character appears with Romeo, Mercutio, and Benvolio at the Capulet’s Party (where, if you recall, Romeo meets Juliet for the first time).

Like Hamlet's Horatio, this Horatio is full of well-worded philosophical advice. He tells Romeo “And to sink in it should you burden love, too great oppression for a tender thing.”


Fig. 1 - Second Quarto Printing


Fig. 2 - First Folio Printing

[The American Shakespeare Center’s Education Blog discusses the likely “real” reasons for Horatio’s presence]

Let’s imagine that Horatio has travelled down from Wittenberg (about 540 miles) to Verona for his Spring Break. He hears about some guys who like to party (because, let’s be honest, besides getting stabbed, partying is Mercutio’s main thing). So, he ends up crashing the Capulet’s ball with them.

He is then on the sidelines as Romeo and Juliet fall in love, Tybalt kills Mercutio, Romeo kills Tybalt, Romeo gets banished, and both lovers are found dead in Juliet’s tomb.

This tragedy fresh in his mind, he returns to Wittenberg at the end of what has turned out to be a decidedly un-radical Spring Break and discovers that his bestie Prince Hamlet is leaving for Elsinore Castle because he’s just gotten news that his father, the King, is dead.

On the trip up (another ~375 miles), Horatio recounts the tragic romance he just witnessed in Verona. He advises (as he is wont to do) Hamlet not to mix love and revenge.

Hamlet takes Horatio’s advice to heart, breaking up with Ophelia so that he can focus is energy on discovering and punishing his father’s killer:

Ay, truly; for the power of beauty will sooner
transform honesty from what it is to a bawd than the
force of honesty can translate beauty into his
likeness: this was sometime a paradox, but now the
time gives it proof. I did love you once.


Indeed, my lord, you made me believe so.


You should not have believed me; for virtue cannot
so inoculate our old stock but we shall relish of it: I loved you not.

Ophelia - burdened by the perceived loss of Hamlet’s love and his murder of her father - goes mad and drowns herself.

You see, if Romeo had waited literally a minute and thirty seconds longer (31 iambic pentametrical lines) - he, Juliet, Ophelia (and possibly the rest of the Hamlet characters) would have made it.

* With thanks to roguebelle.

(via thefeminineending)

Buncha fuckin nerds in this town.

(via moriartini)

The Hamratiophelia Conspiracy Theory ftw

(via zahnie)

(Source: cherries-jubilee, via cleolinda)



painting of the day: Pedro Américo - Hamlet’s Vision


painting of the day: Pedro Américo - Hamlet’s Vision

(via fuckyeahhamlet)





Getting real tired of all of the white girls in bathtubs/ convenient bodies of water trying to make Ophelia’s death ‘beautiful’. Drowning victims are not beautiful. Romanticizing the death of young girls is not beautiful. Romanticizing mental illness and societal pressures is not beautiful.

 I know I’m defending/ being protective of a dead fictional character but honor her struggle. Recognize her contending with a deck stacked against her, the loss of her father and Hamlet. Recognize her as more than just a pretty corpse with pretty flowers. Honor Ophelia.

let’s not forget the effects of rue, which she’d taken to procure an abortion! (whoops several of those ‘pretty flowers’ were actually poisonous which generations of censorship & bullshit victorian flower language teaches us to overlook)

Ingestion [of rue] causes vomiting, diarrhoea, epigastric pain, acute gastroenteritis hepatic and renal impairment. Seizures may be observed. Death can occur due to liver failure. In women, uterine haemorrhage and abortion may occur.

ophelia was not a pretty corpse guys, gertrude was just tryin to spare laertes’ feelings with that whole spiel about melodious lays etc

Reblobbing for commentary, idk if y’all are in favor of the pregnant Ophelia theory but this is also a consideration. Several of the herbs/flowers she names were well known abortifacients. There is nothing definitive in the text that says she ingested them though. 

While I’m not a fan on forcing Shakespeare to be realistic, I do love the contrast between Gertrude’s description and the corpse in the grave. Because that scene is all about Hamlet coming up against the brute material fact of death and corruption; after all, he’s just finished talking to the mud-clotted skull of a someone he loved, and how the thought of having kissed him makes him want to puke. And now here’s Laertes jumping into a grave and catching up a bloated corpse—imagine the contrast between that reeking thing and his “from her unpolluted flesh may violets spring”—and the two young noblemen proving their love by wrestling over a cadaver. Gawd. Best part: this is the moment when Hamlet finally, triumphantly, names himself and fully takes on his father’s identity—“It is I, Hamlet the Dane!” And illustrates it by taking muddy death in his arms.

brb crying/gagging

(via fuckyeahhamlet)



In honor of Shakespeare’s 450th birthday, I would like to take this moment and share a profound quotation from the bard:


Such mastery of the English language.

Remember that when this goes down, they are indoors.

(via pbab)


Oh dear god, I just described Hamlet to someone by saying “It’s kind of like having really great sex”.

I’ve never seen anyone look so terrified.  

(via pbab)


Before you dismiss your fanfiction idea as stupid, remember that Disney made a Hamlet AU with singing lions and a happy ending and it was one of their most beloved and successful films.

(Source: queenshulamit, via cleolinda)



In short [Claudius] is very human. Now these are the very qualities Hamlet lacks. Hamlet is inhuman. He has seen through humanity. And this inhuman cynicism, however justifiable on the plane of causality and individual responsibility, is a deadly and venomous thing. Instinctively the creatures of earth, Laertes, Polonius, Ophelia, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, league themselves with Claudius: they are of his kind. They sever themselves from Hamlet. Laertes sternly warns Ophelia against her intimacy with Hamlet, so does Polonius. They are, in fact, all leagued against him, they are puzzled by him or fear him: he has no friend except Horatio, and Horatio, after the ghost scenes, becomes a queer shadowy character who rarely gets beyond ‘E’en so, my lord’, ‘My lord—’, and such-like phrases. The other persons are firmly drawn, in the round, creatures of flesh and blood. But Hamlet is not of flesh and blood, he is a spirit of penetrating intellect and cynicism and misery, without faith in himself or anyone else, murdering his love of Ophelia, on the brink of insanity, taking delight in cruelty, torturing Claudius, wringing his mother’s heart, a poison in the midst of the healthy bustle of the court. He is a superman among men. And he is a superman because he has walked and held converse with death, and his consciousness works in terms of death and negation of cynicism. He has seen the truth, not alone of Denmark, but of humanity, of the universe: and the truth is evil. Thus Hamlet is an element of evil in the state of Denmark. The poison of his mental existence spreads outwards among things of flesh and blood, like acid eating into metal. They are helpless before his very inactivity and fall one after the other, like victims of an infectious disease. They are strong with the strength of health—but the demon of Hamlet’s mind is a stronger thing than they. Futilely they try to get him out of their country; anything to get rid of him, he is not safe. But he goes with a cynical smile, and is no sooner gone than he is back again in their midst, meditating in graveyards, at home with death. Not till he has slain all, is the demon that grips Hamlet satisfied. And last it slays Hamlet himself:

The spirit that I have seen
May be the Devil…
(II. ii. 635)

It was.

It was the devil of the knowledge of death, which possesses Hamlet and drives him from misery and pain to increasing bitterness, cynicism, murder, and madness. He has indeed bought converse with his father’s spirit at the price of enduring and spreading Hell on earth. But however much we may sympathize with Ophelia, with Polonius, Rosencrantz, Guildenstern, the Queen, and Claudius, there is one reservation to be made. It is Hamlet who is right."
G. Wilson Knight, “The Embassy of Death: An Essay on Hamlet" (from The Wheel of Fire)

(Source: grandhotelabyss, via fuckyeahhamlet)



Crash Course Literature #4: Hamlet II. http://youtu.be/nDCohlKUufs

(via fuckyeahhamlet)


one thing that really frustrates me about every production of hamlet that i’ve seen is that they seem to be casting hamlet for richard burbage and not for, you know, hamlet. he’s not a charismatic leading man playing the role of a lifetime. he’s a depressed college student. casting him as a 30 year old man who still isn’t king for some reason makes him look like a indolent manchild, and there’s a reason for that

he’s a fucking child

(via fuckyeahhamlet)



Maude Fealy, c. 1905

As Ophelia, looks like.


Maude Fealy, c. 1905

As Ophelia, looks like.

(Source: charles-hardin-holley, via londoninquisitor)