Showalter, Elaine. "Representing Ophelia: Women, Madness, and the Responsibilities of Feminist Criticism." EXPLORING Shakespeare. Online ed. Detroit: Gale, 2003. Student Resource Center - Junior. Gale. Adams City High School. 4 Feb. 2011 [[ &contentSet=GSRC &type=retrieve &tabID=T001 &prodId=SRC-4 &docId=EJ2115515812 &source=gale &srcprod=SRCJ &userGroupName=adamschs &version=1.0]]

Showalter’s article, “Representing Ophelia: Women, Madness, and the Responsibilities of Feminist Criticism”, discusses various aspects of Ophelia’s character and her impact on readers. The author touches on subjects such as symbolism, emotion, censorship, and influences; the latter of which ranges from artistic interpretations to clinical psychiatry. The section I personally found most interesting was Ophelia’s influence on mental illness. Ophelia’s ‘insanity’ described in the play has piqued the interest of asylum superintendents, who in turn monitored their female patients more vigorously. This led to recreations of the play by patients themselves and even the diagnosis of Ophelia, which is agreed to have been schizophrenia. Being a hopeful major in psychology, I noticed something quite odd about this study; a fictional character became crucial enough to be studied by a devoted group of psychiatrists, eventually leading to the advancement of treatment for mentally disturbed patients. Out of all the influences this single character has had on society as a whole, this is by far the most intriguing, considering it went far beyond the typical artistic recreation of her character. Another interesting point, mentioned at the end of the article, is that the analysis of Ophelia is purely based on perspective. The article constantly refers to the distinction between male and female critics, but also mentions a few others, such as traditional artists, actresses/actors, and other writers. No two people read the play the same way, just as no individual interpretation is deemed ‘correct’.

This is a really interesting response Shyanne. Well done!

15 Research Options
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I plan to major in psychology, which generally uses APA format.