Essay on William Shakespeare 's Hamlet, King Lear And Hamlet

1826 Words Nov 10th, 2016 8 Pages
In the words of the newly elected President of the United States of America, “grab them by the pussy” (Mathis-Lilley). Those in positions of power utilize misogyny as a means of control and as a tool to reinforce a personally beneficial power structure. Like Trump, King Lear and Hamlet are men in position of authority who relegate women to subordinate roles. Both King Lear and Hamlet express deeply misogynistic attitudes towards women; however, while Lear’s misogyny manifests in his belief in the inferiority and weakness of women, Hamlet expresses his misogyny through his Freudian confusion of sexuality and womanhood. Ultimately, although the two men’s misogyny manifests differently, both arise from a desire to monopolize and exercise power over women. Hamlet perceives the concepts of sexuality and femininity as indivisible. From the outset of the play, Hamlet expresses a disgust towards women, bitterly proclaiming “frailty, thy name is woman” (Shakespeare 1.2.146). Hamlet’s misogynistic leanings most often reveal themselves in regards to expressions of female sexuality. The majority of his conversations with female characters are teeming with sexually charged and often vulgar language. During his conversation in Act 3 with his one time love Ophelia, Hamlet berates her, repeatedly telling her “Get thee to a nunnery” (Shakespeare 3.1.121). This insult contains a double entendre with nunnery also being period slang for a brothel (“nunnery, n”) The juxtaposition between these…

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