In Defense of Ophelia

In my English Literature class, we are studying Hamlet, and while we’re pretty slow in reading it (we’re still in Act 2 Scene 2) I already have the basic gist of the play. For example Hamlet, obviously being the titular character and protagonist, is the tragic hero. Therefore, it is inevitable that he will die. Also, even just two acts into the play, we’ve already encountered a handful of familiar quotes and phrases, showing how popular this play really is. It has been quoted many times (sometimes misquoted *wink*), and it really is a humbling feeling to be able to study something that has affected society in this way. To quote your work is probably the greatest compliment an author — or this case playwright — can ever get.

Bravo, Shakespeare!

There are so many themes going on in Hamlet, but for this time I’m going to focus on Ophelia. Having not read the entire play yet, I only have a vague idea on what’s going to happen to her (insanity? death?). However, I get this feeling — a vibe, if you will — that most people see her in a bad light. Just because she did as she was told doesn’t mean she’s weak. If anything, I think it’s remarkable that she can see beyond what she wants and understand that doing as she was told is the right thing to do. (This, of course, is debatable.)

Anyway, the following is an essay I began to write during class and finished during Private Study. This is purely my view on things, just to warn you. ^__^ Continue reading


10 Things I Hate About You

Today was a really bad day and I seriously needed a pick-me-up. However, since I couldn’t find any large tubs of ice-cream in the shops on my way home from school, I figured watching a film from a decade ago ought to make me feel better.

Yeah, I’m a sucker for ‘old’ movies….

…That, and I like Julia Stiles. *grin* She was wonderful in Save the Last Dance, plus she was the girl in The Prince and Me, right??

Anyway, I watched 10 Things I Hate About You. What caught my attention was not just the catchy title, but also the fact that it’s based on one of Shakespeare’s plays, The Taming of the Shrew. And given that my experience with Shakespeare’s works include only a few sonnets, the balcony scene from Romeo and Juliet and whatever my English Lit. class has covered in Hamlet, I can’t say how much the film was based on the play. However, I plan to remedy that in the future.

I figured it watching it was worth a shot. My experience with modern remakes of Shakespeare is pretty good. (She’s the Man with Amanda Bynes comes to mind.) Suffice to say, I enjoyed the movie because not only did it distract me for an hour and a half, but Kat totally inspired me to be a shrew er, I mean to be a kind of person who does not follow the crowd. One who expresses what they think is right. One who does what they want despite it being uncool.

Of course, it does help that at the very beginning of the movie, Joan Jett’s ‘Bad Reputation’ was blasting from her car stereo. \m/ And my favourite quote from the entire movie is when Patrick says “Who needs affection when I have blind hatred?” to Kat.

And Kat’s sonnet, which is what the title of the film is all about:

I hate the way you talk to me, and the way you cut your hair. I hate the way you drive my car. I hate it when you stare. I hate your big dumb combat boots, and the way you read my mind. I hate you so much it makes me sick; it even makes me rhyme. I hate it, I hate the way you’re always right. I hate it when you lie. I hate it when you make me laugh, even worse when you make me cry. I hate it when you’re not around, and the fact that you didn’t call. But mostly I hate the way I don’t hate you. Not even close, not even a little bit, not even at all.

Ohh, isn’t it sweet? Putting up a front and mistaking hatred for love… *sigh*

Random thought: I found it weird seeing Joseph Gordon-Levitt and David Krumholtz so young. I suppose I’m just used to them looking much older…

Lookie What I Found!

So in accordance to my English Lit. homework, I’ve searched in the internet the many versions of Hamlet in film. I’ve managed to find three: a 1996 movie with Kate Winslet as Ophelia, a 1990 movie with Mel Gibson as Hamlet, and one really, really old version made in 1948. (As for the David Tennant fan in me, I’m searching for a video of that play for fun.)

Anyway, as I was searching through the web pages, I stumbled upon this nifty poem.

Green Eggs and Hamlet

I ask to be or not to be.
That is the question I ask of me.
This sullied life, it makes me shudder.
My uncle's boffing dear sweet mother.
Would I, could I take me life?
Could I, should I end this strife?
Should I jump out of a plane?
Or throw myself before a train?
Should I from a cliff just leap?
Could I put myself to sleep?
Shoot myself or take some poison?
Maybe try self immolation?
To shudder off this mortal coil,
I could stab myself with a fencing foil.
Slash my wrists while in the bath?
Would it end my angst and wrath?
To sleep, to dream, now there's the rub.
I could drop a toaster in my tub.
Would all be glad if I were dead?
Could I perhaps kill them instead?
This line of thought takes consideration-
For I'm the king of procrastination.

Awesome, isn’t it? It brought a smile to my face ^__^