In William Shakespeare’s Hamlet there are many male characters, but the only two significant female characters are Ophelia and Gertrude. Ophelia is the daughter of Polonius, a high ranking official in the court in Denmark who serves as a love interest and an object of desire for Hamlet, although it is often unclear which at many point during the play. Gertrude is the wife of King Claudius, the widow of the former king, King Hamlet, and the mother of Hamlet. In Hamlet the women often appear as if they do not have a significant role in the play. However, Ophelia’s interactions with Hamlet exaggerate his apparent madness and by being a foil to Hamlet. Gertrude’s purpose in the play is to increase Hamlet’s anger towards Claudius through their marriage while trying to mediate tensions between Hamlet and Claudius. …show more content…
This is encapsulated in Hamlet exclaims, “frailty, thy name is woman!” about his mother’s hasty marriage to her deceased husband’s brother (Shakespeare 1.2.150). In this quote, Hamlet is dismissing all women as weak-willed like he believes Gertrude to be, which affects his interactions with Ophelia also. Hamlet is cruel to her because of this anger he has towards women in general, so when pretending to be mad, he goes “full force in the misogynist rage” when telling her he used to love her, but now she should go to a nunnery (Traub 192). Ophelia can be seen as weak in this scene because she protests little against Hamlet and only hopes that his insanity will end. These crude comments Hamlet says to Ophelia continue throughout the play until Ophelia is being buried when Hamlet asserts that he loved Ophelia. The male character’s treatment of Ophelia and Gertrude make them appear to be ineffectual
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Another factor is the constant psychological abusive behaviour by Hamlet towards Ophelia. An example of Hamlet’s mistreatment occurred when he insulted her by stating she is a hoar and telling her to, “…Get thee to a nunnery…"(Act 3 scene 1).Ophelia’s victimization represents the patriarchal oppression she experiences which causes her to lose her mind as Hamlets comments are, “…words like daggers …” (Shakespeare).to her mental state. Lastly, the final instance which significantly impacts her mental well-being is the sudden death of her beloved father.
Female characters in media are often portrayed as weak. They are not able to make their own decisions, and they cannot handle problems without help from ale characters. This is not the case in Hamlet by William Shakespeare. The female characters in Hamlet, Gertrude and Ophelia, are strong, and this is demonstrated through their actions, their interactions with other characters, and even their deaths. Gertrude marrying Claudius only several months after the death of her husband is not a sign of her frailty.
At the same time, he resents and hates his mother for killing his father, becoming strongly attached to her. This gigantic conflict in his feelings is the main cause of his insanity and resulting in his isolation, which is intensified by the knowledge that his mother's lover Claudius is constantly spying on him. He sees his father's ghost bringing him to the horrific event of his murder, so he pours out his heart to Ophelia, even though he knows she has also been sent to spy on him. The constant pressure from her father, Polonius, and Claudius to spy on Hamlet is a major factor in the increasing madness of Ophelia. Also Hamlet's own madness and isolation is a cause in Ophelia's deteriorating mental condition.
This occurs when we learn that Ophelia has entertained Hamlet without supervision, neglecting her father’s (Polonius) and brother’s (Laertes) advice to not trust Hamlet or any man. Polonius warns Ophelia about Hamlet, telling her “When the blood burns, how prodigal the soul... Do not believe his vows; for they are brokers” because he is concerned about his daughter’s well-being and partly jealous by the fact that she has chosen to spend more time with Hamlet than her own father. As a result, Ophelia’s family tells her she is naïve and that her behaviour is unacceptable. Hamlet then takes his torment out on Ophelia when he says, “Get thee to a nunnery, go, farewell.
As the play progresses, there are a few confrontations, where Hamlet seems to hate Ophelia, as his manners are not of proper use towards a lady. However, this does not necessarily means that he stopped loving her. Hamlet simply could not bear with the plentiful life deceptions that he was
Women have been dominated and manipulated by men for many years. In Hamlet, the character Ophelia was living under the demands of her father. She didn’t actually decide anything for herself. She obeyed every demand she received from her father Polonius because for her it was a form of loyalty. When Polonius was killed by Hamlet, she became vulnerable since she no longer had the person who decided everything for her.
In a way, Shakespeare is implying that when women are allowed to make their own decisions and do what they want, it never results in anything beneficial. Gertrude chose her new king and in the process contributed immensely to the downfall of her son, Hamlet. On the other hand, Ophelia, Hamlet’s lover, is the perfect model for a young lady in those days. When her father advises her to steer clear of Hamlet, she immediately obeys him. She does what she is told, not questioning why, but accepting that that is the way that things are to be.
Hamlet Hamlet teaches us many lessons among these are love and insanity. These traits are evident throughout the play and all of the characters exhibit them in different ways. The character who displays these traits the most is young Ophelia. She loves her father very much, but also suffers greatly when he is murdered. Ophelia loves her father very much and respects him, even went as far as to call him Lord.
He resents his mother because she did not hesitate to remarry immediately following the passing of King Hamlet; in Hamlet’s eyes, she cannot live independently because she is a fragile, powerless woman as all women are. Hamlet says, after complaining about Gertrude’s hasty remarriage, “frailty, thy name is woman” (1.2 150). His judgment of his mother’s character led to his generalization of all women being frail and helpless. Hamlet extends this judgment to his evaluation of Ophelia’s character. He believes that because she is female, she must be deceitful and adulterous.
Ophelia is often thought of as one of the most obscure characters in Shakespeare’s Hamlet. This is the result of her voice throughout the play only being heard in response to the voice of others and often dismissed as opaque nonsense. In turn, this leaves the audience open to depict her mute and physical interactions in a way which will correspond with their own thoughts and reasoning, forming Ophelia into much more well-rounded character than that of which we see in the text. As Showalter states in her essay, Representing Ophelia: Women, Madness, and the Responsibilities of Feminist Criticism, “there is no ‘true’ Ophelia […] but perhaps only a Cubist Ophelia of multiple perspectives, more than the sum of all her parts,” (Showalter 297). If you agree with Showalter, you’ll believe that in order for one to fully understand Ophelia’s
Up last, there is Ophelia the daughter of Polonius and sister to Laertes. Ophelia presents a danger to Hamlet in the form of emotional damage. She loves Hamlet and Hamlet has another performance about how he does not love her in the slightest in act three, scene one when Hamlet says “You should not have believed me, for virtue cannot so inoculate our old stock but we shall relish of it. I loved you not.” The exchange between Hamlet and Ophelia makes Hamlet mad which is not the best state of mind for Hamlet.
In Shakespeare’s novel, Hamlet, many characters were introduced as monumental pieces that made up the work as a whole. One significant character was Ophelia, daughter of Polonius, sister of Laertes, and lover of Hamlet. As much of the book was based around the plot of revenge, madness was a key description of the book’s identity and to which was passed to beloved and harmless Ophelia. Ophelia’s madness and loss of self conscious is significant as it shows the side of lost identity, the weak mind, and the negative influence of a life condemned to dictatorship. Although the madness and eventual death of Ophelia can be surfaced to the grief of her losses, it could also be used to introduced as a breakthrough in gendered stereotypes and serve a comparison on
Frailty, thy name is woman! (1.2.148) Hamlet thinks that all women trap men with their plotted tricks. Situations between Hamlet, Ophelia and Gertrude are far from an appropriate way to treat women. Hamlet has a pressing sexual desire for his mother Gertrude and that is what drives his hatred for women. Hamlet probably feels like he can not trust anyone because his own mother let him down.
After already being disturbed by the hasty re-marriage of his mother and his uncle, he is now even more outraged than before. Being told such horrid news creates a burning hatred for Claudius and a disappointed feeling towards Gertrude, even though she knows nothing of the murder. Because Claudius and Hamlet are complete opposites, Gertrude struggles to please both of them. She loves both Hamlet and Claudius and wants nothing more than for them to be happy with her; however, their continuous conflicts leave her distressed and remorseful (Smith