Gender Inequality In Hamlet

1172 Words 5 Pages
Gender inequality is a prevalent matter in Hamlet. In a play with many characters, only two females are named, Hamlet’s mother and his love interest. Both Gertrude and Ophelia are seen as fragile, compliant women that are tools of manipulation used by the dominant men in their lives. During the Shakespearean time, the ideal female was youthful, beautiful, and maintained her purity. Compliant women accepted and fulfilled the requirements and blooms in the environment given to her from her father or husband. Because of this, Ophelia does not embrace her own free will, has no input on decision making, and listens to her father, Polonius, and brother, Laertes, faithfully. As she is trying to become a woman and pursue a relationship with Hamlet, …show more content…
Ophelia and Hamlet engage in an intense argument after Ophelia ends her relationship with Hamlet. When Ophelia returned Hamlet the love letters, it was her way of rejecting his love. Hamlet doesn’t take this well at all and is angered by her actions. Hamlet calls her a “breeder of sinners” and commands her to the nunnery (3. 1.118). He essentially tells her to go to a brothel, that she was basically just a prostitute, and that she should not have any children so not to bring more sinners into the world. There is evidence that Ophelia and Hamlet are in an abusive relationship, even before this fight. Hamlet often manipulated Ophelia’s emotions and left her stressed and confused by his sexual advances and rude comments. Ophelia never stood up for herself in her life she simply accepts the names he has calls her, any rude advances, and bottles it up inside. Hamlet also kills her father, which the death of Polonius was the final straw for Ophelia. “There’s a daisy: I would give you some violets, but they withered all when my father died” (4. 5. 176; 177). She believes that with the death of her father, all good things have gone as well. The violets symbolize faithfulness, the flowers are dead because she feels betrayed. Her brother, Laertes, has left her to return to France for school. She is truly alone after the death of her father. The siblings had an interesting relationship. It …show more content…
The most important tool he used to become king was Gertrude. He uses her rebellious spirit to marry her and gain the crown. During this time period, it was against the law of the church to marry one’s brother-in-law. The church considered it incest. Claudius appears to be an ideal stepfather to Hamlet, but this is only to gain the trust of Gertrude. Claudius persuades Gertrude to talk to Hamlet in her closet. This interaction between the two leads to Hamlet killing Polonius, thinking that he was actually Claudius. After this happens, Claudius says “This mad young man: but so much was our love” (4. 1. 20.) in an attempt to appear worried about the situation Hamlet is now facing and concerned for his wellbeing. Another coverup to seem as though he actually cares about Gertrude’s son. Throughout the play, Gertrude appears weak and depends on her new husband and her son until the end when she attempts to be independent, which leads to her death. Claudius and Laertes plan to put poison into Hamlet’s goblet in order to be able to rule without question. Claudius tells her to not to drink from the cup. Instead, Gertrude asks for his forgiveness then drinks the goblet not knowing that it is poisoned. The one time she does not obey Claudius causes her death, but does reveal Claudius’ plan to kill Hamlet and secures his

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