The Emotions Of Women By William Shakespeare 's Hamlet Essay example

861 Words Apr 11th, 2016 4 Pages
In Shakespeare’s Hamlet, the emotions of women juxtapose those of men through the characters of Hamlet and Ophelia. Both characters lose their fathers to murder committed by someone to whom they are close: Hamlet Senior’s murder committed by his brother, Hamlet Jr.’s uncle, and Polonius by his daughter’s lover. Yet, each deals with grief in their own unique method: Hamlet’s has each and every move carefully thought out and crafted, while Ophelia’s loses control of her passivity, thus unraveling her mental state. However, each character’s turmoil ends with the same result: a self-inflicted death taken with “readiness” (V.ii.218).
Shakespeare’s portrayal of gender differences through other characters’ reactions to grief indicates the societal implications that lack equal merit to Hamlet and Ophelia. Hamlet’s revengeful grief is condemned, even though he does not actively commit suicide, while Ophelia’s, that “can be interpreted as suicide” (Richards Para 3), is excused and given a “Christian burial” (V.i.1). Shakespeare especially favors women as inadequate decision makers and seen as only worth their sexual favors, trapping each female character so that she lacks choices, though “the female protagonists act in authoritative ways with success” (Dall Para. 1). Hamlet even accuses “thy name is woman” (I.ii.146) of frailty, associating femininity with negative connotations purely to get under his mother’s skin. As the only son, Hamlet’s grief is confined to the vengeance of his…

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