Ophelia's Tale                                                 

You ... knew.  Through your madness, was it madness, through your ecstasy, you knew.

My father had suspicions perhaps. But you were certain, that I knew, that you knew.  Which makes it all the more ... you and your cause, your causes, I can’t think just now, but I had cause.

You really weren’t so fashionable to others’ eyes. Your princely graces had begun to wane, they paled, your music not so musical, except to me.  Your vows: I had been warned . . . but was ever woman wooed by such sweet words?  And wooing was as nothing to those other words.  I followed you for them, silently, I hung upon your feckless lips, room to room I stole, unknown to you.  Them I loved, you I loved for them. I’d never breathed such poetry before.  

Silly me.

What was I to do?  I thought I told you with that kiss, our last, before you spurned me, in your madness, in your ecstasy, your throes.  The nunnery was my future, my father would have sent me there without a doubt, had he ...  And I would have forgiven you his death, even his death, had you received that kiss, my gift.  You knew.

What was left for me? You and he had gone, and my brother away.

I could play at madness too.  It isn’t so very hard after all, it never took much to fool the general. It bought me time, it gave me time, it gave me purpose, it gave me steel.

So when I met her, the poor waif wandering about the countryside, when I saw in her a form and moving so like mine, her fate was as a sparrow’s to my hawk.  

Your mother saw me plunge, it’s true: I made sure of it. But downstream further I could clothe my victim in my weeds and set her off. A day or two in the water would make my unfortunate peasant just unrecognisable enough.  Then, merely to bide my time . . .

And so my funeral was quite the success. Everyone in tears, and you, what timing, what a surprise, so gallant in your protestations of your love! You sounded . . .  a bit mad perhaps. So touching, I nearly believed you. But far too late, too late.

You got what you deserved, all of you – even my brother whose heart was always more in France. I only wish he’d lived to see me now: the Queen I’d never be with you.  

And Fortinbras, my King, accepts your heir as his. From love and possibly from guilt.  

I’m satisfied.  


                Emanuel E. García, 2015

               Click here for video performance by Renee Christie with                                      cinematography by Hayden Rogers