Elaine Showalters Representing Ophelia
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Elaine Showalter defines Ophelia in many typical ways in her essay "Representing Ophelia: Women, Madness, and the Responsibilities of Feminist Criticism." She discusses her significance in reference to how she reveals Hamlet's characteristics. Showalter touches upon the idea that Ophelia's character is one that is symbolic of the psychiatric theories of Freud. Showalter also attributes the characterization of Ophelia to not only the audience, but also to the actress that plays the part. Never does she suggest that Ophelia could be just that, "Ophelia." Her entire article is devoted to individual interpretation of the play in its entirety, focusing primarily on Ophelia. Showalter presents her own ideas by bringing together the ideas of many others such as Jacques Lacan, Susan Mountfort, Ellen Terry, and more. Showalter provides suffice evidence in addressing each argument, but in doing so, she never takes into account the possibilities of Shakespeare's reasoning.