EP 102: Richard Miller on Ophelia's Flowers

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Manage episode 257383700 series 2248527
By Cassidy Cash. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

When you study Hamlet, especially in school or when you read or watch a commentary on the play, it is not surprising to have someone point out to you that the flowers Ophelia carries in her bouquet as she sings her sad song after the loss of her Father, Polonius, hold powerful 16th century historical significance. It’s so important that I even included a nod to the flowers specifically in my 3 Minute Animated version of Hamlet that just published on Amazon Prime but even when I included them, that part of the play implores the viewer to “get thee to a library!” to learn more about the history. This lack of explanation presents a problem since not many commentaries or even animated versions of the play, will go beyond saying the flowers are important, to really take you behind the curtain and into the 16th century history of herbals, flowers, and Ophelia’s song specifically. To solve this problem, we invited our guest Dr. Richard Miller to sit down with us today. Richard has quite extensively put together Ophelia’s Bouquet, an article that illuminates the history of William Shakespeare that is found in Ophelia’s Flowers. Richard is here today to share the history of 16th century plants with you, and finally explain why these flowers are so important, and what you need to understand about the life of William Shakespeare when you discover Ophelia’s bouquet in Shakespeare’s Hamlet.

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