Hamlet's View Towards Women Analysis

Superior Essays
The Change of Hamlet’s View towards Women
According to a well-known Asian proverb, “There are a thousand Hamlets in a thousand people’s eyes.” In the play, Shakespeare successfully portrays Hamlet being a tragic hero with radical contradictions. He is reckless but clever on his revenge, courteous yet ferocious to his friends, sympathetic but violent to Gertrude. Due to such complexity of Hamlet, it is not difficult to see the reason why the audience will have different interpretations towards him. Besides all the various viewpoints held by the audience, this paper will focus on the shift of Hamlet’s view towards women, which is essentially caused by the immoral behavior of Hamlet’s mother right after the death of his father. Moreover, this paper will discuss how the change of view on women is further developed in the play through Hamlet’s harsh treatment of Ophelia.
“Frailty, thy name is woman!” (1.2.146). Hamlet makes this famous speech after knowing Gertrude’s decision of remarrying Claudius who is her brother-in-law soon after her husband’s death. Hamlet is disappointed and disgusted by this incestuous
…show more content…
She fails to realize that her second marriage can be seen as adultery by her sensitive son. After that point, Hamlet’s belief in women suddenly breaks down, because he feels betrayed by his own mother, the sole person who he believes should never cause him pain. As a result, he concludes all women are morally and physically weak and can not be trusted. As for Ophelia, she plays the role of the unfortunate who silently takes Hamlet’s anger to his mother’s guilt. His distorted mind leads Hamlet to have the thought that Ophelia is just another insincere woman like his mother. Apparently the behavior of the women in Hamlet results in some negative consequences. Perhaps the major one is to drive an innocent girl mad and eventually push her over the edge of

Related Documents

  • Improved Essays

    Misogyny In Hamlet

    • 1032 Words
    • 4 Pages

    In the play he designed a character, which represented his mother, to act like a terrible person and a harlot. Hamlets mother was appalled by what she witnessed. The way Hamlet had his mother portrayed should express to the audience his hatred he has towards his mom at least. Hamlet gets aggressive with his mother when he tells her that she sleeps with a murderer and he gets rough with her too. Hamlet calls her a bad mother and a whore.…

    • 1032 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    For the majority of the play, Hamlet feels that the wedding between Gertrude and Claudius was a betrayal to him and his father. His anger and frustration that he feels for Gertrude soon starts to affect his relationship with Ophelia because he no longer has any faith in women as he takes on a misogynist perspective. Hamlet unfortunately takes advantage of Ophelia’s obedience toward men as he starts taunting her with cruel words to degrade her mentally. “Get thee to a nunnery, farewell. Or if thou wilt needs marry, marry a fool for wise men know well enough what monsters you make of them” (III.i.137-140).…

    • 1233 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Hamlet became more cynical about the women in his life. Hamlet’s hatred for his mother grew even further when he found out that Gertrude married his father’s murderer. Hamlet became disgusted by the Queen embracing Claudius because she never mourned the death of the king. Hamlet exclaims, “Frailty, thy name is woman” (1.2.11). Hamlet’s statement can stem more to his hatred of all women, since he says thy name is woman.…

    • 1379 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Hamlet's Madness

    • 981 Words
    • 4 Pages

    In the play, Shakespeare shows the difference between only acting mad and truly being mad. Ophelia, Hamlet’s potential wife and Polonius’s daughter, is a character that is truthfully mad. The difference between Hamlet’s act of madness and Ophelia’s real madness is, Hamlet acts senseless simply on purpose. Hamlet decides when he should talk or act crazy in order to help solve his father’s murder. Hamlet knows he can get away with asking people strange things while pretending to be mad.…

    • 981 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Gertrude is kind of decay by betraying the old king Hamlet in Hamlet’s soliloquy about his mother’s remarriage: “Why, she would hang on him as if increase of appetite had grown by what it fed on, and yet, within a month—Let me not think on ’t. Frailty, thy name is woman!”(1.2.143-46) Hamlet combines every women in the entire world are similar to his mother they are both betraying people and they are kind of disease that should avoid. In addition, Hamlet thinks Gertrude is the worst mother in the world because she betrays her husband at this time, readers know that Hamlet is criticizing women in stead of saying “ Frailty, thy name is Gertrude” he using woman to embody every women in the world are the same. In closing, Hamlet’s attitude towards women is mirror men’s attitudes in the entire world- women are bad as the terrible diseases. Then, the author is also showing the guilt of incest by Gertrude through the meaning of flower that she receives from Ophelia: “There’s fennel for you, and columbines.”(4.5.149) Fennel is symbolized for flattery, adultery, and foolishness.…

    • 1348 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Superior Essays

    In discussing the importance of Gertrude in Shakespeare’s Hamlet, it is important to first analyze her character. Critics often view this queen as a weak female character whose dependence on her husband renders her nearly useless. Through analysis of Gertrude’s speeches and actions throughout the play, it is evident that her character more closely resembles that of a strong, clear-headed, independent, and manipulative woman, yet still flawed in that she gives heed to her sexual passions and marries Claudius. Gertrude’s hasty marriage to Claudius draws the most criticism of her character. In a modern sense, society generally frowns upon improperly mourning the death of your husband and then quickly turning around and marrying his brother.…

    • 1024 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Hamlet’s rejection towards Ophelia leads her to deep depression and disappointment, later driving her to complete madness. For Ophelia, she feels that she has to decide between her father and Hamlet. Either she stands by the image of being an obedient daughter or stands by her love for Hamlet. In the end, she dies to give both sides a complete utter feeling of faults. Her rejection from Hamlet is what drove her to the suicidal event she endured at the end of the…

    • 1010 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Great Essays

    He is asking his mother, how could she go from something so great to something so horrible? This is the first time that Hamlet actually tells Gertrude what is bothering him and why he is acting so harshly. Hamlet believes that his mother is only married to Claudius for sexual purposes. Many would say that Hamlet had the right to be upset with his mother, however in defense of Gertrude, she did not know that her marriage was what disturbed her son so much. She says, “Thou turn’st my eyes into my very souls,/ And there I see such black and grained spots” (3.4.90-91).…

    • 1419 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Hamlet Feminist Analysis

    • 1650 Words
    • 7 Pages

    Hamlet pushing Ophelia away, Laetres gone, and Polonius’s death, all contribute to cause Ophelia to experience complete isolation from all of the male figures in her life. She loses her sense of direction since no one is there to instruct her on how to live her life which inevitably causes her demise. The other female character of Hamlet, Gertrude, is perceived as a woman who lacks morality due to her sudden marriage with Claudius, her former brother-in-law. To marry your brother’s widow was considered incest during Shakespeare’s time which explains Hamlet’s disturbance in regards to Claudius and Gertrude’s marriage. Hamlet’s fury toward his mother, Gertrude, is displayed when he is speaking to himself and arguing that she is “frailty, thy name is woman” (1.2.146).…

    • 1650 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Her disillusionment is highlighted in the line “I was the more deceived” Ophelia struggles against the men in the play as they manipulate her for their own interests. Her disillusionment is further highlighted in her relationship with Hamlet. She states “before you tumbled me you promised me to wed.” highlighting her loss of faith in Hamlet and her loss of innocence further portrayed through the symbol of a flower, “I would give you some violets but they withered all when my father died.” The role of women and the condemnation of sexual promiscuity throughout the ages continues to be relevant today as there is still a divide between the roles of men and women, thus, making Ophelia’s struggle a universal…

    • 826 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays

Related Topics