Danse Macabre

April 20, 2012
By StrangeJade PLATINUM, Relative Obscurity, California
StrangeJade PLATINUM, Relative Obscurity, California
36 articles 17 photos 391 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Life is so beautiful that death has fallen in love with it." - Life of Pi


Only then,
When he held the dead girl in his arms
(Swollen with river water, yet so fragile
Her skin seeming to tear like paper under his
Brisk hands, and he so afraid of dying,
So afraid of the dead that he did not dare even
To smother her rouged cheeks in mad kisses
And her name stopped dead at the backs of his teeth),
Only then was he
Consumed with a terror of living and dying both, a terror like fighting,
Consumed with a terror of the water in the river and
The flowers in the grave, of the dirt that formed
Immobile cliffs around him, unforgiving and crushing him
Into dust, and a terror of the dust, and a terror of his own
Skin and the way he could feel it wrinkling, his own hair
Graying and whitening, and her closed eyes and her parted
Lips and the way time was no longer hers

When the hands closed at his throat then it felt
As though forty thousand brothers with their red-rimmed
Envious eyes had become hell-bent on pounding him
Faster and
Further into the dust.


The author's comments:
Inspired by Hamlet. Specifically, inspired by Ophelia's funeral. And now, a sad quote.
"I lov'd Ophelia! Forty thousand brothers/Could not with all their quantity of love/Make up my sum."
...yeah. I pretty much cried.

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This article has 8 comments.


JulianaHk said...
on Aug. 18 2012 at 4:23 pm
JulianaHk, Poway, California
0 articles 0 photos 11 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Nelly, I am Heathcliff — he's always, always in my mind — not as a pleasure, any more than I am always a pleasure to myself — but as my own being." — Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights

Thank you so much!  I am entirely in agreement with your theory.  I'd never thought about Hamlet personal feelings so deeply.  My opinion is that when Ophelia is mad, she is unable to help herself.  River Tam, on the other hand, can take care of herself when she's insane.  By that I mean calculating bullet trajectories to shoot people with her eyes closed.  I think that I might be giving too much away.

on Aug. 17 2012 at 7:10 pm
StrangeJade PLATINUM, Relative Obscurity, California
36 articles 17 photos 391 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Life is so beautiful that death has fallen in love with it." - Life of Pi

Thank you! :) Well, the thing is, Ophelia is often read as helpless, even half-witted. However, usually this is accompanied by a reading of Hamlet as really, honestly cruel and unloving towards her, and I just don't agree with either. I believe that Hamlet did love Ophelia, deeply so – he's not stupid, remember. During the famous nunnery scene, he knows that he and Ophelia are being watched, and also that, if he shows his love for her, Polonius will separate them. It's a Catch-22 for poor Hamlet, and he's also outraged that Ophelia would effectively w.hore herself out as a spy for the hated King. At the same time, she is also his respite from the prison that is Denmark. His conflicted feelings toward her are also shown in the following play scene (trying to pretend like nothing happened), and of course at her funeral. I also don't think she really killed herself. She merely drowned, but she was not of sound mind at that point, and probably didn't know how to swim anyway. Oh, and as to her being helpless...there is a scene in Act I where she engages in some serious verbal sparring with Laertes. Shakespeare often showed the intelligence of characters, especially woman, by demonstrating their mad punning skills. ....this is one of those things I don't shut up about. O_o

JulianaHk said...
on Aug. 15 2012 at 6:28 pm
JulianaHk, Poway, California
0 articles 0 photos 11 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Nelly, I am Heathcliff — he's always, always in my mind — not as a pleasure, any more than I am always a pleasure to myself — but as my own being." — Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights

I would love to hear your rant!  Though I originally viewed Ophelia as an independent young woman of her times, my admiration for her turned to sympathy when she drowned.  Though some readers say that she killed herself, I belief that Shakespeare only implanted that suggestion to make her tragedy even more unjust.  (Gertrude explained that it was an accident, but then the cleric said that she killed herself.)  If you ever feel the urge to write an essay about Ophelia, however brief, I would be thrilled to read it!

on Aug. 14 2012 at 6:48 pm
StrangeJade PLATINUM, Relative Obscurity, California
36 articles 17 photos 391 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Life is so beautiful that death has fallen in love with it." - Life of Pi

Cool! Thanks for the recommendations. :) (Although I would argue that Ophelia is not as helpless as most read her to be....but that is a rant for another time. >.>)

JulianaHk said...
on Aug. 14 2012 at 12:41 am
JulianaHk, Poway, California
0 articles 0 photos 11 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Nelly, I am Heathcliff — he's always, always in my mind — not as a pleasure, any more than I am always a pleasure to myself — but as my own being." — Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights

I'll be thinking about this poem all night.  It's so thought-provoking.  If you're interested in Ophelia, you should look up characters such as Drusilla from Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Angel, Winifred Burkle from Angel, and River Tam from Firefly/Serenity.  There are some differences though; Drusilla is evil, Fred recovers from her madness, and River not so helpless.

on Apr. 28 2012 at 2:11 pm
AgentOrange789 GOLD, Friendswood, Texas
16 articles 0 photos 59 comments

Favorite Quote:
"It's a saying they have, that a man has a false heart in his mouth for the world to see, another in his breast to show to his special friends and his family, and the real one, the true one, the secret one, which is never known to anyone except to himself alone, hidden only God knows where."
-James Clavell, "Shogun"

This is incredibly dramatic. Even without reading that it was about Orphelia, I was able to feel the sense of desperation. I also like how each thought seems to last forever...I don't really know how else to describe it. :)

 


on Apr. 24 2012 at 6:15 pm
StrangeJade PLATINUM, Relative Obscurity, California
36 articles 17 photos 391 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Life is so beautiful that death has fallen in love with it." - Life of Pi

Thank you! ^^ Yep, I...kind of went on a Hamlet writing frenzy recently. I'm glad you can tell that that's what this is about; I wasn't sure if it was obvious enough. :P

on Apr. 24 2012 at 9:57 am
beautifulspirit PLATINUM, Alpharetta, Georgia
35 articles 0 photos 1401 comments

Favorite Quote:
The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.
--Eleanor Roosevelt

Reading this, I was hoping that it was inspired by Ophelia. I'm so glad that I was right! This piece held such imagery and flow!




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