Natalie Merchant: "Ophelia"

Here is the reading
Here is the work

I dig the tune and the multifaceted case study of “woman”. But I’m struggling with invoking Ophelia as the mannequin upon which everything is hung. What is Natalie playing at? The simple answer, the one that might earn a C grade on an essay in a college-level literature analysis class, looks like Ophelia had the potential to be (and so on some level actually “was”) any of these self-realizing women, but instead faded into sad madness by selling herself out to the men in her life. But I also suspect there’s more to it than that.

Wow! I like Natalie Merchant but I hadn’t heard that song before. Thank you for bringing my attention to it.

My first reaction is that the “real” Ophelia is the one who is in the asylum. The others are versions of her that live only in her imagination or hallucinations.

Of course, I could be all wet.:wink:

Wow, 8 years to come up with your ciritique - look forward to you view of One Kiss by Calvin Harris in a little under a decades time

20 years, actually. Took me that long to decide maybe I was missing something.

The lyrics are a descriptive list of various stereotypical female roles in society. To the extent that there is a plot, I gather that it’s meant to illustrate that life is about choices. We can choose whichever role makes us happy. Each has benefits and burdens. Of course, all of these roles are pure fiction - or should be in any case.

Personally, I sometimes find stereotypical roles amusing, but, mostly, I regard them as fiction and the people who feel the need to emulate them to be in need of help. Something, somewhere is out of balance if you feel the need to define yourself by a stereotype.

I’ve always thought of Ophelia as a young woman looking at the options that are open to her in the Buffet Line that is life.