The Tragedy of Ophelia (digital download)

The Tragedy of Ophelia (digital download)

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The Tragedy of Ophelia (digital download)

This downloadable PDF contains extracts from the "full" text of Hamlet, creating an abbreviated play with the character of Ophelia, rather than Hamlet, at its center. Read more about this special text: 

The editors have chosen to begin the Ophelia narrative with Ophelia being warned about the intentions of Prince Hamlet by her brother Laertes as Laertes prepares to depart for France. This is followed by Polonius, her father, forbidding her to have any further contact with Hamlet. From the beginning, both the reader and the theater audience are fully aware that this is a play about Ophelia.

To sustain that focus on Ophelia, one of the theater students collaborating on this project identified an opportunity. The script of this version of the Ophelia narrative includes the nunnery scene, which involves Hamlet and Ophelia, but not Hamlet’s famous To be soliloquy which precedes this scene. Following Hamlet’s angry exit concluding the nunnery scene, Ophelia laments, “Oh, woe is me...” At this point in this unique script, Ophelia delivers the portion of Hamlet’s To be soliloquy that contemplates suicide, the portion which (when separated from the full soliloquy) might seem to be written for Ophelia and which seems to foreshadow her suicide.

The editors wish to restate their indebtedness to University of Michigan theater students Nicole Gellman, Teagan Rose, and Elias Wygodny for enthusiastically stretching the range of staging possibilities for these character narratives. As with the other character narratives, directors will add and delete passages depending on the needs of each staging opportunity. 

 

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