A kind of silly thing I wrote, explaining just what exactly happened to Ophelia in Hamlet. Told from her perspective.  It comes in Act IV between scenes VI and VII.

We were reading Hamlet in school and it just kind of happened. 


Millais’ Ophelia

[Ophelia, walking along riverbank]

It’s quite puzzling, being in love. Or out.

Is there a difference? A grain of sand

Fixed between the two might the margin span,

Though the pain would be no less. I loved him,

I loved him well and methought he loved me,

But now—no. Get thee to a nunnery!

He cried and asked for my father, bidding

Me go, go! Leave him be. Why is it thus?

Mere days ago his head couch’d upon my lap

We’d sit and soft promises he’d impart.

Broken. My father’s councils I forgot and

In my own folly sprang the hunter’s trap.

Hunter? No, he is himself a gay bird,

Flighty and uncertain. I held his quick

Attention for a heartbeat and then—gone.

Another is the object of his gaze

And good luck to him! Love is no more than

A cruel joke the devil plays on gentlefolk.

And what of me? What more is left to me?

Every breath serves reminder to it;

Might it not be best to cease to breathe? Oh!

Breath, death, the difference is but a quick

Fall, a sudden slip, and then—what then? I

Wish it mattered. Nothing. Everything.

Escape to an eternal sleep from which

No fool chooses to return. A simple

Mis-step and all’s done. Father, I’m coming.

The sweet prince of Denmark may forget me,

Make room for him, my replacement. I lacked

His education, his wit, loyalty.

Hamlet loves me not, for by the wrong name

I am called. Would that you had named me

Horatio, Father! Then might I be

His. But enough, I bear it no longer!

[she deliberately slips from the bank into the water]


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