And so I thank you for your good counsel.

What if Ophelia didn’t die and had the opportunity to grow up to be Queen? What if she’d had the chance to shake off her obedient girlhood and take on some authority! She might really have amounted to something. She’s got a little hint of it here – an ability, even in her madness, to allude to a little trick of language – a counselor being her father’s position in the court – so by thanking Claudius for his good counsel, she is also thanking him for her father. It has a gentle imperiousness that I admire. It’s like a way to dismiss someone without them knowing they’ve been dismissed.

I wish Ophelia had had an opportunity to grow up into a queen. I’d relish a spinoff play wherein Ophelia doesn’t drown herself in a brook but runs away to a neighboring kingdom and gets herself set up as its queen. She avoids ALL the tragedy, grows up, gets a spine and watches it all as a ghost from a far.

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