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by Bogster
Last updated 7 years ago

Language Arts

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Ophelia is a very popular character that has been portrayed by many painters and artists around the globe. Ophelia is a character from a very well known play hamlet created by the greatest writer of all time William Shakespeare. In William Shakespeare's play Hamlet, Ophelia is the daughter of the Polonius who is the kings chief councilor and the sister of Laertes, in the play Ophelia had a love affair with the main character Hamlet but was forbidden to continue their relationship, she obeyed such command and later on had to deal with an emotional and insane Hamlet throughout the play. Like most of the characters in William Shakespeare's play, Ophelia suffered a series of crisis's before her tragic death when she committed suicide.

The first painting I will be speaking of is John William Waterhouse's painting called Ophelia created in 1910. In this portrait Ophelia is standing next to a tree, touching it with one hand and holding several flowers on the other. Ophelia is wearing a beautiful blue dress, lifting it up a bit where you can see her long red skirt and golden shoes. She is sharply staring at the viewer in a terrified look. In the background you will notice a pond, a couple of trees, and two women sitting next to each other and looking at Ophelia from behind.

The second painting was made by John William Waterhouse in 1889 also named Ophelia. Looking at this painting, Ophelia is laying on grass in a forest with her legs bend over, wearing a remarkable white dress, she is holding her hair tightly with one hand and holding the grass in a similar fashion with her other hand, she also has plenty of flowers laying on her dress. Studying her face it can be noticed that she doesn't have any particular expression just looking at the viewer. In the background you can see a couple of birds flying around, plenty of trees, grass, and other plants.

In conclusion, both paintings produced by John William Waterhouse are a great representation of Ophelia. Similar yet different are the two portraits of Ophelia and so are the plenty other representations of Ophelia. William Shakespeare's creation did not just become popular in theatre but also in other forms of art such as painting and songs. Ophelia is a well known figure in all forms of arts worldwide.

The two images of Ophelia have many similarities and differences. The similarities between the two paintings made by John William Waterhouse are that both images are taking place outside in nature, in the two portraits both wear a dress, look directly at the viewer, and carry flowers. The backgrounds are very similar were both have a lot of plants. John William Waterhouse chose to use a lot of dark colors like dark green and black and the shading is dark. The artist chose to use Ophelia as the focal point in both of his paintings. There are plenty of differences between the two pieces of art of Ophelia. The first image is done vertically while the second image was done in a landscape design horizontally. The color of eyes and emotions are different in the two portraits where in one of them Ophelia has lighter eyes and a sharp expression compared to the second one where Ophelia has dark eyes and no expression. The color of the dress, body and hand positions, and backgrounds are all different as well.



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