Essay On The Treatment Of Women In Hamlet

1927 Words 8 Pages
Giving Life to the Minority
Shakespeare’s Treatment of Women In Shakespeare’s time, there was a different outlook on the treatment and responsibilities of women than there is today. For one, women were not even allowed on the stage during plays. Therefore Shakespeare had to have men portray these women. Also, depending on the sort of woman you were, you were considered either “good” or “unpleasant,” to generalize. As explained in Enter the Body: Women and Representation on Shakespeare 's Stage, a good woman was one who was obedient, modest, patient, and virtuous. A woman who had a lot going for her. If you were too talkative, you were considered unpleasant; shrewish and unattractive. (Rutter) Shakespeare used women in his plays to explain
…show more content…
Hamlet’s mother, Gertrude, is one of the most antagonist characters of the play. Although it may not be completely obvious, she is one of the main reasons that Hamlet goes crazy. After his father dies, Gertrude quickly moves on to her next husband, Hamlet’s Uncle Claudius. This is the first thing that causes Hamlet to become very angry. Not only has his mother already moved on from her husband’s death, but she has chosen to marry his brother. Not only is Hamlet angry that his mother is getting with his dead father’s brother, but he also thinks that his uncle killed his father. He is very angry with Claudius, and decides to act like he’s going crazy in order to get to the bottom of the whole situation. Meanwhile, Hamlet also has a little bit of a love interest; Ophelia. Unfortunately, because he has such harsh feelings toward his mother, Hamlet does not do well with any women. He has allowed his mother’s actions to influence the way he thinks about women in general, and this does not bode well for he and Ophelia’s relationship. Overall, the way women are portrayed in this play is as heartless, crazy, and selfish. However, the way Shakespeare used women was very useful in revealing the way men are, rather than just how women

Related Documents