Essay about The Female Characters Of `` If All Men Are Born Free ``

1197 Words Jul 20th, 2015 5 Pages
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, who is now king. Typically, the son of the late king is to become the new king; however, by marrying Gertrude right after the funeral, Claudius takes the crown. Claudius uses Gertrude to obtain his desire for power and she allows herself to be seduced and agrees to marry him. Another man who uses Gertrude is Polonius. In act III, Polonius is spying on the conversation between Gertrude and…

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