Saturday, April 28, 2007


Ophelia is a character in the play Hamlet by William Shakespeare. She is a young noblewoman of Denmark, Polonius' daughter, Laertes' sister, and Prince Hamlet's sweetheart.

"Ophelia’s Song"

He is dead and gone, lady,
He is dead and gone;
At his head a grass-green turf,
At his heels a stone.
White his shroud as the mountain snow,
Larded with sweet flowers,
Which bewept to the grave did go
With true-love showers. ...

by William Shakespeare (1564-1616) (frag) ...
Shakespeare's character Ophelia, driven insane by the murder of her father by her lover Hamlet, is portrayed singing in her madness as she drowns.
Millais's model was Elizabeth Siddall, who later married Dante Gabriel Rossetti.
Millais and his fellow Pre-Raphaelite artists filled their works with the allegorical language of flowers and the natural world.
Here Ophelia floats under the branches of a weeping willow surrounded by poppies, symbols of death, and violets, symbols of faithfulness.


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