Cover Photo: An image of  John Everett Millais's 'Ophelia' in which Ophelia lays in water surrounded by a lush  green landscape. She is wearing a dress and her head and hands are above water. Flowers surround her in the water.
Detail from John Everett Millais's 'Ophelia' (1851–52)/Tate Britain

Playing Ophelia Helped Me Navigate My Own Grief

She sings and speaks in lewd riddles, mourning her father’s untimely death and her abandonment by Hamlet, her lover.

Hamlet,

The Two Orphans

Heaven and earth, must I remember?

hold, please

no

To be, or not to be, that is the question:

Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer

The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,

Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,

And by opposing end them: to die, to sleep

No more; and by a sleep, to say we end

The heartache, and the thousand natural shocks

That flesh is heir to?

Why wouldst thou be a breeder of sinners?

I am myself indifferent honest;

but yet I could accuse me of such things that it

were better my mother had not borne me

O, what a noble mind is here o'erthrown—

Stay, illusion!

Where is the beauteous majesty of Denmark?

Hamlet

Lindsey Trout Hughes is a freelance copywriter and theater maker in New York City, where she lives with her family. She is at work on her first book, a memoir. You can find her on Twitter and Instagram