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Hamlet:Treatment of Women - Research Paper Example

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Customer Inserts His/her Name Customer Inserts Customer Inserts Grade Course (03, 07, 2012) Hamlet: Treatment of Women Introduction Hamlet is a famous play written by William Shakespeare and it is widely regarded as a masterpiece of English literature…
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Hamlet:Treatment of Women
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Download file to see previous pages Hamlet, the main character of the play, views women in negative light throughout the play. Hamlet’s treatment of women illustrates the strong theme of misogyny in the play. His hatred towards women is mainly because female characters in the play do not seem to live up to Hamlet’s expectation. The theme of misogyny is also evident in the way Prince Hamlet behaves with women. Women do not seem to escape their traditional roles throughout the play and this bolsters the misogynic view of Hamlet. Also the treatment of women by Hamlet clearly depicts the views of the society at that time regarding women. Female Characters in Hamlet There are two notable female characters in the play. The first is the mother of Hamlet, Gertrude. She enjoys a significant position in the play. Gertrude marries King Claudius, uncle of Hamlet after the death of his father. Hamlet suspects that King Claudius has killed his father and wants to revenge the death of his father throughout the play. Gertrude is an affectionate mother and seems to feel for her son Hamlet throughout the play. The second notable female character is of Ophelia. She is the daughter of Polonius and is a lover interest of Hamlet. She plays a heroine like part in the play as she is in love with Hamlet. Hamlet’s ideas and treatment of women were not very positive. He viewed women as disloyal, and in their traditional role. ...
They were also not considered equal to men. These views translate into and shape Hamlet’s treatment of women in the play. HHamlHamlet views women as passive creature and never pays heed to what they say or want. Women are portrayed as passive throughout the play. The mother of Hamlet tries to cheer him up after the death of his father but fails. Also Hamlet doesn’t seem to listen to Ophelia on any matter. This passiveness is quite clear throughout the play as both he characters are not able to do anything significant on their own and are shown to follow orders or commands of the powerful men in the play. Both the notable characters fail to take any steps themselves to shape the stream of events in their desired directions. They are seen in their traditional roles of following the orders and wishes of men. In the case of Ophelia it is quite clear that she has little control over the events in her life which eventually pushes her to death. Ophelia says to her father, “I shall obey, my lord” (Act 1, Scene 3). This shows the passiveness of the character of Ophelia. She has no option but to obey the commands and wishes of her father. She has no power of her own to make her decisions and decisions are made for her by others. Hamlet also views Ophelia and women in general in their traditional roles. He says, “Frailty, thy name is woman”, (Scene 1, Act 2). This shows that Hamlet view women as week and feeble, which was their traditional role at the time the play was written. Gertrude is also not in full control of her life too. She seems to follow her new husband. Also the fact that she has to get married immediately after the death of her husband shows how insignificant she is. Gertrude cannot make decisions about ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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