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L. Klein’s novel “My name is Ophelia” as a feminine spin-off to Shakespeare’s Hamlet

Liberal Arts in Russia. 2021. Vol. 10. No. 2. Pp. 111-120.
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Ishimbaeva G. G.
Bashkir State University
32 Zaki Validi Street, 450076 Ufa, Republic of Bashkortostan, Russia


The article is devoted to the study of how feminist literature (on the example of Lisa Klein’s novel “My name is Ophelia”) revises gender canons, stereotypes and patterns of masculine culture in the process of artistic reception of traditional plots and their radical rethinking. It is proved that the novel “My name is Ophelia” is a philological fantasy on the themes of one of the best works of Shakespeare, which makes it possible to take a fresh look at the lofty tragedy “Hamlet” and expands the horizon of the reader’s reflection. The focus is on the ideological and poetological features of Klein’s novel (the feminine spin-off to Hamlet), which are manifested at the level of composition, conflict resolution, the specifics of the heroines’ depiction and their gender roles, intertextual poetics. A comparative study of the novel and some works of medieval and Renaissance literature, which revises traditional ideas about the gender role of women, is carried out. Such works as the chivalrous novel “Tristan and Isolde”, the Shakespearean comedies “The Taming of the Shrew”, “Twelfth Night”, “The Comedy of Errors” and the tragedy “Romeo and Juliet” are under study. The article analyzes the phenomenon of female reading, by which the author, doctor of philological sciences and teacher of literature in college, determines the emergence of a new type of feminine and female writing. It is concluded that in a world in which the distribution of male and female roles is rigidly fixed, Lisa Klein’s Ophelia strives to become a person, to reveal her feminine nature and to implement the future famous postulate of Simone de Beauvoir “One is not born a woman, but becomes one”. On this path, in the process of introspection and self-determination, Ophelia, this ideal feminine at the turn of the 16-17th centuries, destroys the cult of masculinity and comes to the idea of a harmonious union with a man.


  • • feminist literature
  • • masculine culture
  • • feminine spin-off
  • • Klein
  • • Shakespeare
  • • My name is Ophelia
  • • Hamlet
  • • prequel
  • • sequel


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