let me go on by Paul Griffiths - review by David Collard

David Collard

Ophelia Speaks Out

let me go on

By

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Paul Griffiths’s let me tell you (originally published in 2008) and its long-awaited sequel, let me go on, are based upon a beautifully simple premise. Using only the 481 words spoken by Ophelia in Hamlet, Griffiths gives Shakespeare’s tragic heroine – known throughout simply as O – the opportunity to tell her own story in her own voice and (literally) her own words. Far from inhibiting the author, this self-imposed constraint affords a wonderful liberation.

Ophelia feels fully present from the moment she addresses her readers on the first page of the first book, her voice clear and confident: ‘So: now I come to speak. At last. I will tell you all I know. I was deceived to think I could not do this …

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