Wherefore Art Thou Meaning?

"Wherefore Art Thou Meaning?" Many times while reading Shakespeare this is the main question on my mind. Through my own pondering & writing and hopefully some comments from others, I hope to find some answers.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

To Gossip...About Shakespeare

For an interesting fact, the verb "to gossip" made its first appearance in Shakespeare's works.  Gossip is light, familiar, or idle talk.  None of which I will be doing with my social connections.  I want to prove Ophelia's worth as a character (the story could have been just as complete, tragic, and dramatic told from her point-of-view).  I have been posting on social networking sites, by posting a question on the Ophelia society wall on Facebook and by forming a discussion group on Goodreads (I already have some responses).

Someone I may contact is Ray Eston Smith, Jr.  He has developed a website completely devoted to his essays and work on Hamlet.   

I am also trying to find some scholars on Hamlet that I can contact to get their opinion on Ophelia.

Leslie C. Dunn wrote "Ophelia's Song's in Hamlet: Music, Madness, and the Feminine."  Dunn is an associate professor of English whose research focuses on music, gender, and representation in early modern England.  

Nona Fienberg wrote "Jephthah's Daughter: The Parts Ophelia Plays."  Fienberg was the Dean of Arts and Humanities at Keene State College for the past nine years.  She is now returning to her love of teaching.  While in college, Fienberg focused her studies on Shakespeare, the Renaissance, and women in literature. 

Matthew A. Fike wrote "Gertrude's Mermaid Allusion."  Fike is an Associate Professor of English at Winthrop University, where he teaches courses in Shakespeare and Renaissance literature.

Allison Findlay wrote "Hamlet: A Document in Madness."  Findlay is a Professor of Renaissance Drama in the Department of English and Creative Writing at Lancaster University.  Her research interests are in Shakespearean drama and women's writing of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

Richard Finkelstein wrote "Differentiating Hamlet: Ophelia and the Problems of Subjectivity."  Finkelstein is an Associate Professor and Head of Design at James Madison University's School of Theatre and Dance.

Mary Floyd-Wilson wrote "Ophelia and Femininity in the Eighteenth Century: 'Dangerous conjectures in ill-breeding minds.'"  Floyd-Wilson is the Associate Professor of English & Comp Literature and the Assistant Department Chair at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  Her current research is a book on the practices and mentalities of the Shakespearean stage.

R. Chriss Hassel, Jr. wrote "Painted Women: Annunciation Motifs in Hamlet."  He is a Professor of English Emeritus at Vanderbilt University.  

Ronald Bradford Jenkins wrote "The Case Against the King: The Family of Ophelia vs. His Majesty King Claudius of Denmark."  I am still trying to find a way to contact him.

Kaara Peterson wrote "Framing Ophelia: Representation and the Pictorial Tradition."  Peterson is an Associate Professor and Director of the Literary London Program at Miami University.  

Kay Stanton wrote "Hamlet's Whores."  Stanton is a Professor of English at California State University.  

I am excited to read their works and contact these scholars.  I look forward to their insights on the character of Ophelia and the role she plays in Hamlet.


  1. Thanks for sharing that! The opening line caught my attention. I did NOT know that the phrase "to gossip" came from Shakespeare!

  2. I did not know that before either. :)

    to gossip (The Comedy of Errors; first use as a verb; "gossip" was one's familiar friends)


  3. I am more interested in the title "Hamlet" which (can) mean "small town." To me, the tragedy of Hamlet centers around the gossip among the courtiers, the King and Queen, Hamlet's friends, Hamlet's enemies, Hamlet's lover and Hamlet himself. "There is nothing good or bad, but thinking makes it so..."Hamlet was killed by gossip, not his schizophrenic or Oedipal leanings (acc. to the gospel of me!)