Now get you to my lady’s chamber, and tell her, let her paint an inch thick, to this favor she must come.

It’s interesting how we seem to know that Hamlet is referring to Ophelia here and not, say, his mother. Is Ophelia still his lady in his mind? He broke up with her many scenes ago.
And the answer is, of course, forthcoming.
And, of course, to this favor she is already well on her way.
It’s pretty dark, there, Hamlet. Here you are trying to make a joke about your girlfriend’s mortality and it is not funny because she is already dead.
Also the prejudice against make-up is infuriating. And I am no great fan of the stuff. I like it for performance and that’s about it. But a woman who chooses to wear make-up probably has a much more heightened awareness of her own mortality than any man. In the attempt at “correcting” for “flaws” a woman who “paints” her face is in the most intimate contact with her own march toward the grave. She can mark, literally mark, each new line, each crack, each sign of age.


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