Feminism And Gender Equality In Hamlet, By William Shakespeare

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Mary Astell, an English feminist writer from the late 1600s, wrote that,” If all Men are born free, how is it that all women are born Slaves?” in her book Some Reflections upon Marriages. For years, gender equality has been a major issue in the world as women were seen to be significantly lower than men were. As the years went on, women are being seen as equals to men; however, there is still a lot that needs to be done to achieve complete gender equality. Shakespeare is one of the couple people known to support feminism and gender equality because it was a theme in some of his famous plays such as Macbeth and Hamlet. In Hamlet, Shakespeare uses the female characters downfall to promote support for gender equality by using their downfall from their obedience, dependence on men and mistreatment by the male characters.
Throughout the play, the female characters are used as tools in the schemes of the male characters which creates empathy for the women’s lack of say. As the play begins, the audience learns that Gertrude, wife of the late King Hamlet, has married his brother, Claudius,
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Women, just like Ophelia and Gertrude were very obedient. They followed all the orders and rules set upon them from the male population. Moreover, due to the lack of control they had, women always looked to the men to make their decisions and form their thoughts. In addition to the lack of control women had, their male counterparts abused them verbal and at times physically, which is not shown in this play. Shakespeare creates empathy for the characters of starting up a gender equal world. He uses Ophelia and Gertrude to resemble women of the day with their obedience, dependence on their man and the mistreatment of several male characters to shed a little light on such a major issue. In the end, the purpose of the female characters was to promote gender equality in the

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