Sunday, March 8, 2015

261 Quiz Answer

In William Shakespeare's play Hamlet, Gertrude is Hamlet's mother and Queen of Denmark. She watches as Ophelia drowns, the girl singing and acting in absolute madness. Gertrude is the one who reports this drowning to the court.
(Also for Three Word Wednesday and ABC Wednesday: "I" is for "immersion.")
For our quiz this week, let’s talk about Ophelia.
Ophelia would seem to have everything going for her.  She is a young, attractive noblewoman in the Danish court.  She is sort of the epitome of goodness.  She is much loved by her father and brother, who take great pains to shelter her.

At one time young Prince Hamlet seemed to be in love with her too, but recently he has ceased treating her with respect and tenderness.  At times he is almost brutal with her.  She has become well aware of the harsh realities of life.

There were those – the Queen herself was one of them – who thought Ophelia should marry Hamlet; they would make a perfect couple.  But it was not to be.  She was not of royal blood; she could not marry a prince.

She lost her mother, probably at birth.  As the play unfolds her beloved father is killed.  Her frailty and innocence work against her when she learns that it was the man she loves, Hamlet, who killed him.  She cannot cope with the unfolding of one traumatic event after another. 

She reaches the point where she has endured all that she is capable of enduring and goes insane.

She wanders about, giddily singing lewd songs that shock the King and Queen, serving as reminder that the corrupt world has taken its toll on the pure Ophelia.

Needless to say, Ophelia dies by drowning.  Was this an accident or was it suicide?  We don’t know the answer to that question.

The voluminous dresses,  the huge amount of clothing, women wore in those days actually held her up for a while in the water but when they became soaked she sank to her death.

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.
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.

And on that tragic note we come to our weekly quiz question: who reported Ophelia’s drowning to the court?




Altonian said...

Gertrude, the Queen, is the first to mention Ophelia's death. It comes during the Queen's soliloquy, or monologue.

Berowne said...

Altonian, as has happened so often before, is first with the right answer.

kaykuala said...

Queen Gertrude!


Berowne said...

The correct answer has just arrived from kaykuala.

Roger Owen Green said...

My mother's, and maternal grandmother's name was Gertrude. Let's try that.

naturgesetz said...

Nothing in her life became her like the leaving it. Sorry, couldn't resist after it popped, unbidden, into my mind.

If it isn't a minor character, I'd guess Queen Gertrude.

Berowne said...

Our congrats go to Roger Owen Green and naturgesetz, both with the right answer.

Truedessa said...

Queen Gertrude - made a speech about her death..

Berowne said...

Truedessa just dropped in with the correct answer.

Trubes said...

Queen Gertrudem methinks?

To be or not to be, that is the question?

Best wishes,
ABCW team.

Berowne said...

Another right answer, this time from Trubes.

Trubes said...

Yaaaay !

Hildred said...

I think it was the Queen (Gertrude) with her willow branch speech????

Old Egg said...

Gertrude, Queen of Denmark is the one that announces her drowning to Ophelia's brother Laertes.

Berowne said...

Hildred and Old Egg have both coughed up the correct answer.

Sheilagh Lee said...

Queen Gertrude

Berowne said...

A correct answer from Sheilagh Lee.

Jae Rose said...

Thank you for such an informative post Berowne..accident or suicide..i believe such an act can be both depending on the thoughts you have as you float in the water...did she have stones in her pocket like Virginia Woolf?

Kathe W. said...

Queen Gertrude? I know I am late......but have been quite busy- Have a great weekend!

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