Posted by: ellis22s | December 8, 2010

Sibyl Vane- Another Ophelia

I’ve noticed in the book that Wilde has made many illusions to Shakespeare, the most notible being the role Sibyl plays before she dies-of Ophelia. I have included a still from the recent film but I can’t find pictures of her from the other ones. If Sibyl is meant to be a contemporary Ophelia then her brother James Vane represents Laertes. However, James’ problem is that unlike the original Laertes he does’t have someone to guide him as he plots his revenge. If some ways Hamlet is a game of chess as everyone’s plotting their moves. However, for James it’s like the world is a jigsaw puzzle as an outsider he has no idea whats really going on which is why he fails to avenge his sister’s death and ultimately dies accidently through his confusion. It’s also interesting that if Sibyl is Ophelia, her death to some extent redeems her in Dorian’s eyes because its almost as though she reclaimed her lost art. As we know Ophelia was a big theme during the victorian period especially in art. Dorian loved Sibyl because of the beautiful way in which she acted. When she lost her skills he was angry. However, the fact that she dies because of his behaviour soothes his vanity even though we know unlike the real Ophelia she would have died a painful death.

Sibyl Vane from Dorian 2009 Rachel Hurd-Wood stars as Sybil Vane in Ealing Studios' Dorian Gray (2009)

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