Laertes warns his sister, Ophelia, that Hamlet's love is fleeting. Her father, Polonius, also fears that Hamlet will make false vows, and so he demands she end their relationship. Ophelia agrees and Laertes leaves for Paris.
The action of Ophelia in this her last appearance is, in absence of stage directions by the Poet, a matter of conjecture. The role, as commonly enacted at the present day, has been described as follows: She advances slowly with the strange light of insanity in her eyes, sits down upon the floor, and plays with the flowers in a childish way, as she sings.
Then she arises, distributes rosemary, pansies, fennel, columbine and rue, sings her last song, loiters a moment after her parting benediction, and runs out in a burst of mad laughter.
Though his animosity towards the King in person has sensibly ceased, he again yields to thoughts of violence and resentment, and swears anew to revenge himself for her sad affliction. The music of the refrain she sings, seems by association of phantasms, to awaken memories of her childhood, when she had often heard her nurse sing the same ballad to the hum of the spinning-wheel.
Of the song itself, nothing save what the text affords, has come down to us. Whether in the distribution of flowers to the members of the court, Ophelia gave them out as they came to hand, or whether she chose a particular flower suitable to each person, is open to conjecture; neither in the text, nor by any stage direction has the Poet left us any certainty.
By a long established custom, however, which has become a fixed stage tradition, Ophelia assigns rosemary to Hamlet, who is present to her imagination; she gives pansies to Laertes; fennel and columbines to Claudius; and rue to the Queen and herself.
On this passage, Hunter annotates: She then feels her disappointment. Now when Laertes was warning Ophelia against encouraging the attentions of Hamlet, he urged her to consider them as trifling, and his love but a violet in the youth of primy nature.
These words, imprinted on her mind in association with the idea of Hamlet and her brother, are now recalled when she again converses with her brother on the same unhappy subject. Violets represent faithfulness, and they all withered, when her lover by the slaying of her father, had interposed a final obstacle to her union with him.
The language of flowers is very ancient, and was to Ophelia, like to most young maidens, a fond subject of study. Rosemary is emblematic of remembrance, and was distributed and worn at weddings, as well as at funerals.
The pansy is a symbol of thought, of pensiveness, and of grief. The daisy represents faithlessness and dissembling. Fennel designates flattery, or cajolery and deceit; and columbine, ingratitude; and these two flowers Ophelia befittingly presents to the guileful and faithless Claudius.
Rue is a bitter plant with medicinal qualities, and was in folk lore a symbol of repentance. In the distribution, the demented maiden is seen naively but unwittingly to choose the flower most suited to each person.
After singing "For bonny sweet Robin is all my joy," a line from a ballad of Robin Hood, she passes to another in memory of her father, and dwells with satisfaction upon the words, "They say he made a good end.
Those, whose religion offers them no sacraments of the dying, have often been puzzled by the fact that Catholics, when dangerously ill, are so insistent in the call for the ministrations of a priest.
The readiness is all. If the deceased, contrite of heart, was, in the confession of his sins, absolved from them by the power of the keys which the Savior entrusted to His Church; if thus properly disposed, he received the Eucharistic Body of the Lord, the pledge of his salvation and future resurrection; and if he peacefully departed from this world, with the last sacred Unctions of Holy Church, his friends feel consoled in the hope, which greatly mitigates their grief, that, having died in the grace and friendship of God, the soul of the departed has found mercy at the tribunal of justice in the spirit world.
Claudius wisely admits the offense to be grievous, and laconically replies, "Let the great axe fall" upon the neck of the offender. This fact assured, he can then secretly summon Laertes, and, summarily dispensing with further proceedings, satisfy his grievances and thirst for revenge by exposing to him, how in furtherance of his cause, he had justly inflicted the death penalty upon the murderer of his father.
How to cite this article: The Riddles of Hamlet.This site is ever evolving. It features an ever-growing collection of named pictures of roses and other flowers from travelling photographers and rosarians,Susan and Christine.
April showers bring May grupobittia.com the sensual form of Ophelia, our newest Studio Girl! Ophelia's End - A Document in Madness From The Riddles of Hamlet by Simon Augustine Blackmore. Boston, Stratford & Co. The action of Ophelia in this her last appearance is, in absence of stage directions by the Poet, a matter of conjecture.
Enter Queen, Horatio and a Gentleman: This scene begins in the middle of a conversation. The first thing we hear is "I will not speak with her" (), spoken by the Queen as she comes into the room. Horatio and a gentleman follow the Queen into the room, trying to get her to change her mind.
The Meanings Of Ophelia’s Flowers We know why Ophelia is mad, what she said and now let’s break down the meanings of her flowers: Rosemary is for remembrance especially of the .
Act 5, Scene 1 of Shakespeare's HAMLET, with notes and line numbers.