I have to admit I’d never thought of this. How, exactly, does Gertrude offer such a perfect description of Ophelia’s apparently lengthy death? Did she basically watch it?
I don’t know if the public in general can see Linked In groups, but Aren Bass poses the question “Did Gertrude do it? Did she push Ophelia in?”
My first thought is, “There’s no motivation.”
But later somebody offers this blog post from 2007:
Which argues that if Gertrude didn’t directly kill her, then she certainly watched her die. It still does not fully answer the motivation question (I am deliberately ignoring the person who mentions the “theme” of Oedipus Complex …)
So I offer it up as a valid question – what’s the deal with Gertrude sitting there and watching Ophelia die? Anybody got any rationale for that, how she came to be watching, why she didn’t summon help, or try to go in after her or anything like that? Does anybody think the “Gertrude did it” argument has any legs? If so, what’s her motivation? Jealousy over her son’s lover? Putting the crazy girl out of her misery, like a mercy killing?
It’s obviously not a new idea (the linked blog is from 2007), but it’s new to me. :)