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Title: All in the Morning Betime
Play: Hamlet
Pairing/characters: Ophelia
Rating: It's gen and centers around a bawdy song which isn't quoted, so let's just say G.
Word Count: 140
Prompt(s) used: education, from 2/23 (kind of)
Summary: A young Ophelia does not learn about sex but does learn about other things.
Author's notes: Man, I don't know why all my Shakesfics are about kids. Anyway, hernewshoes and I watched the BBC Hamlet (with Derek Jacobi) this evening, and it was probably Lalla Ward's very innocent Ophelia that gave me this plotbunny.

Saint Valentine's Day, people said, was the day that birds chose their mates.

The maids in Ophelia's household sang about it sometimes. Ophelia thought it was a pretty song: it reminded her about the birds, which she thought was nice.

One day she was singing it to herself while doing her needlepoint when Father looked up at her, eyes narrowed.

"Where did you learn that song?"

Ophelia stared. "I heard the maids singing it."

Father lifted an eyebrow. "Do you know what it's about?"

Ophelia shook her head, resolving to ask Laertes as soon as possible.

"You're not to sing it anymore," said Father, frowning. "It isn't fit for young girls."

Later she did ask Laertes, but he said the same thing that Father had said.

Of course it's not for girls, Ophelia thought. Nothing ever is.

Comments

angevin2
Sep. 29th, 2008 09:04 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I had hoped it would be. One of the things that gave me the idea for the fic is that I'd been talking to Moi about how the play -- not the play itself necessarily, but certainly the world of the play is very hostile to women. And in Ophelia's case that gets expressed by extreme politeness and then bawdy little songs, and I think she's been acculturated not to really question her status too much, but it's there underneath, and as a kid she's not fully acculturated yet. So that's where this piece came from.
lareinenoire
Sep. 29th, 2008 09:35 pm (UTC)
One of the things I've always loved about Ophelia's mad scenes is how much she seems to know (of course, this is open to interpretation, but I like the idea that she's using the madness very much as Hamlet did, to drive everyone around her crazy). And since children and mad people are apparently both known for telling unvarnished truths without thinking about it, you've really made that connection beautifully.

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