The Real Ophelia

Ophelia, by John Everett Millais, (c.1851), Tate UK, Image Source: wikimedia

The scene depicted is from Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Act IV, Scene vii, in which Ophelia, driven out of her mind when her father is murdered by her lover Hamlet, falls into a stream and drowns:

There, on the pendent boughs her coronet weeds
Clambering to hang, an envious sliver broke;
When down her weedy trophies and herself
Fell in the weeping brook. Her clothes spread wide,
And, mermaid-like, awhile they bore her up;
Which time she chanted snatches of old tunes,
As one incapable of her own distress,
Or like a creature native and indued
Unto that element; but long it could not be
Till that her garments, heavy with their drink,
Pull’d the poor wretch from her melodious lay
To muddy death.

Tate UK

Read More

The Story of Ophelia at Tate UK

Sir John Everett Millais at smarthistory

Elizabeth Siddel at wikiwand

Thanks for Visiting 🙂


8 Comments Add yours

  1. janicetv says:

    Thats a very beautiful paint. The colors matching the scene as well as the point of the story. Very talented painter.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, janicetv. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. A tragedy all round. Fabulous painting however.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes…a sad story. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Vivienne.


  3. I used to have, and may still have, a note card with this painting on it. I might even have got it at the Tate in the 1990s.

    Liked by 1 person

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