Roles Of Women In Hamlet Essay

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The women in Hamlet are portrayed as weak, but are crucially important in the plot of the play. Ophelia and Gertrude both have a strong influence on the men’s actions and are used to shape Hamlet’s personality. We learn how Hamlet reacts when in love and how he acts towards his family. Although they are important characters, Shakespeare still displays them as frail, powerless and manipulated by the men around them. Hamlet often uses misogyny throughout the play and makes his negative feelings towards women obvious. These women are only a potential wife, sister or daughter to these men. Reading the play in modern day makes the women 's attitude seem questionable and overly submissive, but in Shakespeare’s day the male gender was favorable. A Shakespearean audience wouldn’t question these gender roles in the play, but now there …show more content…
After Hamlet kills her father, she immediately becomes mad. She no longer can function in society like a normal person. At the same time her father has been murdered, Hamlet and Laertes coquiendently are no longer around for her to rely on. The idea that she has no male figure in her life anymore is so overwhelming that it drives her to death.“ I would give you some violets, but they withered all when my father died” (V,vi,207) The violets here could symbolize the faithfulness that has died with the betrayal of men in her life. Even after her death, she is not respected by these male figures. Hamlet and her brother fight on her grave, making their love for her a competition instead of mourning their loved one.
Gertrude’s death raises a lot of questions because Shakespeare is never absolutely clear in his plays. She takes the poison and when Claudius tells her not to drink it she says "I will, my lord; I pray you, pardon me" (V.ii.318) This may be showing an independence and bravery to save her son, but this independence is what kills her in the

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