Friday, July 13, 2007


John Everett Millais. Ophelia, 1852

Ophelia, the love of Hamlet, daughter of Polonius. Drowned after Hamlet's "insanity". Here's the passage in Hamlet of her death:

There is a willow grows aslant a brook,
That shows his hoar leaves in the glassy stream;
There with fantastic garlands did she come
Of crow-flowers, nettles, daisies, and long purples
That liberal shepherds give a grosser name,
But our cold maids do dead men's fingers call them:
There, on the pendent boughs her coronet weeds
Clambering to hang, an envious sliver broke;
When down her weedy trophies and herself
Fell in the weeping brook. 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,
Or like a creature native and indued
Unto that element: 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.

Eugène Delacroix. The Death of Ophelia, Lithograph, 1843
Eugène Delacroix. The Death of Ophelia, Oil Painting, 1853

Chinese Translation: 中文翻译:
溪上有斜柳 叶影却苍白
见她款款来 身怀满芬芳
他人曰怀春 伊人谓之亡
携裙攀上枝 缘木身轻伏
欲将手中花 成环柳前挂
断木非有意 人随花而落
落花随流水 肉身却难杭
裙裳托将起 轻展似浮莲
送目渺云间 唇动吟轻籁
人似幼灵兽 不知死将至
可怜身上布 密水添厚重
挂拖西施臂 入泥为藕肥

Alexander Cabanel. Ophelia, 1883

Diana Elliott. Ophelia, 1999

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