Tuesday, March 6, 2012

"Frailty, thy name is woman,"-Ashley's Ophelia

Can I just say how awesome Ashley is? Seriously I loved your paper. I loved the insight you had the argument you presented. It really sparked my interest and I found myself contemplating several things.

Here's a link to her blog:


Now I want to focus on a few thoughts I had while reader her blog.

The first:

As I was reading about how Ophelia was abused by all the men around her it got me to thinking about the stereotypes that society has of women today. I mentioned a similar idea as a comment to the post that Rachel O. made about how to broaden her paper to a larger sphere beyond merely Mormonism and Shakespeare.

Here's a link to her post:


What I can't help but wonder is if perhaps both papers are a call for shifting from stereotypes in society to more accepting. Ashley's paper made me think about how society objectifies women in many respects. According the popular social standards, you aren't important if you can't fit a specific form of standards. To me this correlates to Ophelia who, as Ashley argues, was objectified by everyone around her. Her father saw her as a possession. Many men today see the same thing. And sometimes women overcompesate.

Perhaps we could take this to a larger sphere and create a community where women attempt to change the societal norms and push for a new definition of beauty and a new standard of what a great woman is? I think about women who struggle with eating disorders and mental issues because of the abuse they've received from family, peers, and the media. It's interesting to note that connection.

It reminds me of this movement:


Beauty Redefined

Isn't it interesting, too, which flower Ophelia gives herself? As Ashley mentioned it is called a Common Rue. I decided to do a little research on this particular flower. And you know what I found? The alternate name for the flower is called:


File:Ruta graveolens3.jpg
Pretty interesting in connecting that to Ophelia's apparent call for change. She isn't giving herself a flower that denotes her impurity or her subservience to men. Rather, she gave herself a flower that noted her grace, her inward beauty, her inward value (something that is overlooked by all others). This seems to be her declaration of independence and realization of her true worth. She seems to advocate the importance and worth of ALL women (think of the name again: COMMON rue).


When reading about the connection Ashley made to flowers and water I started thinking in the context of the mythological and historical references to each of these. This could connect well to Bri's research on her blog:


In her paper and her reflections she discusses her connections between Shakespeare and the mythical (plus she does a great job of analyzing Ashley's paper).

Seeing these two blogs, I started making connections between the two concepts. For instance, in all religions (from what I can tell) there are allusions made to water as a significant idea (baptism, life, rebirth, etc.) Also, historically, water is referenced in many ancient stories. Think of Beowulf and King Arthur texts. How many times can you count where water is referenced? This idea even extends to later after Shakespeare. I keep thinking of Tennyson's "The Lady of Shallot" and how intricately connected this concept is to Shakespeare:

The Lady of Shallot

This lady seems to represent the mythical world, full of magic and wonder. Her death occurs as she floats down the river singing her own death song. Who does this sound like?

Ophelia perhaps?

Anyway, those are my thoughts so far. I'm having a great time looking at everyone's blogs and I hope to create some posts about my thoughts as I continue to read! :)

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