Violence Is Many Appearances Within Shakespeare 's Hamlet Essay

2126 Words Dec 22nd, 2016 9 Pages
Violence makes many appearances within Shakespeare’s Hamlet. The play is bookmarked with murders, starting with the off stage murder of Hamlet Sr. and culminating into the murders of the rest of the Danish royal family at the end of the storyline. While the violence found within the play is usually physically perpetrated by a male character, female characters are also given affect by and therefore exist in relation to the violence happening on stage. Violence particularly appears after the dismissal of women has occurred by the male characters. The lessening or outright dismissal of women’s concerns creates a breeding ground for more violence to occur within the play. Ophelia’s relationship to violence before and after her death particularly exemplifies this claim. Throughout the play, she bears a brunt of stress as a result of violence and makes her emotional pain known, but men adamantly look over the emotional state of Ophelia and continue to pursue violence at almost every turn. The toll that violence takes upon Ophelia is first seen in Act IV, Scene 5, where a gentleman informs Gertrude that Ophelia has gone mad after the murder of her father and the loss of Hamlet. The gentleman tells Gertrude, “She [Ophelia] speaks much of her father” but then goes on in the same line to say “her speech is nothing”. This is an initial dismissal of the strain female characters are facing from the events of the play. It is interesting that the gentleman is so dismissive of Ophelia’s…

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