There has always been something absolutely mesmerizing about a madman, be he present in a dark psychological thriller, a heart wrenching drama or otherwise. As a product of its time, Shakespeare’s Hamlet is in no dissension of this fact, with audiences young and old enraptured by the title character’s violent insanity and his love interest’s frail and tragic instability. However, as a product of its time and its time alone, there are certainly things lost in translation when the play is presented to a less than medieval audience. This is why it is always so important that the play be reinterpreted for the audience that will be viewing it. Franco Zeffirelli's 1990 Hamlet is most definitely a product of its time as well, a fine example of Shakespeare
In William Shakespeare’s play Hamlet, the main character Hamlet, appears to be insane, but his mistrust for his uncle and desire for revenge drives him “To put on an antic disposition on— / That you, at such times seeing me, never shall,” (I.v.181). He succeeds in convincing almost everyone around him that he is truly a mad man whose only cure is execution; however, he is enigmatic and ambiguous. By having an appearance of insanity and madness, Hamlet is able to use it to his advantage to achieve his own purpose of ridding his father’s murderer. As the Prince of Denmark, he is more obsessed with flushing out Claudius’s guilt and shame into the open to move forth with revenge than affairs with the son of their past enemy,
In William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Shakespeare uses range of literary techniques such as soliloquies to express Hamlet’s depression and anger. Hamlet’s emotions play a crucial role to achieve his secret ambitions. Events such as King Hamlet’s death, Hamlet’s mother’s expeditious marriage, conflict between Hamlet and Ophelia. Hamlet’s depression and anger is expressed throughout the play but what are the causes.
Only two women, Gertrude and Ophelia, appear throughout the entirety of Shakespeare’s elaborate Hamlet. Shakespeare’s representation of these two women throughout the play is a direct example of the way in which women were treated and thought of during the Elizabethan time period. Discrimination in gender roles was a very real concept during the 15th and 16th century. In fact, during Shakespeare’s time, women were not allowed to act, as it was seen as disgraceful to have a woman on stage. Instead, men always played the women’s roles. Controlled by the powerful men who often unconsciously mistreat Gertrude and Ophelia, the two ladies, though different from one another, ultimately are too naïve and somewhat clueless to stand up for themselves. Adding to the complexity of the story, Shakespeare—as he often does—creates crafty parallels between the two women 's behavior, intertwining their love interests and lustful choices. Ultimately the story of Hamlet is one of revenge, justice,
In this scene, Hamlet expresses his total dissatisfaction with the life he lives. The world Hamlet lives in is full of pain and suffering, something he wishes he could simply put an end to. He looks to suicide as a potential, promising option. He states, “O, that this too, too sullied flesh would melt, thaw, and resolve itself into a dew.” However, the life Hamlet lives is the life of Christianity. Under the beliefs of Christianity, if one goes through with the act of suicide, they are bound to eternity in hell and it is for this reason that Hamlet wishes suicide wasn’t a sin, as is shown when he says, “Or that the Everlasting had not fixed his canon ‘gainst self-slaughter!” As a result of this belief of existence that Hamlet has lived by, he reluctantly refrains from taking his own life. Although, this urge to end his own life and the reluctance he displays when deciding not to also shows the beginning of the
Throughout Hamlet, the thoughts, intentions, and actions of all of the characters can be explained through predisposed gender roles in the play. Hamlet is a tragedy in which the main character, Hamlet, attempts to seek vengeance for his father’s murder, while the relationships with him and around him begin to strain. In the play, gender plays a huge role in assuming the capability and worth of people. Women are most commonly depicted as being weak, powerless, and confused, while men are commonly shown as being strong, analytical, and intuitive. Hamlet features Ophelia and Gertrude as the only two female roles, and even then they show little independence from the males.
During the Elizabethan period, the role of women in society was very different from what it is today. According to the system of patriarchal society that dictated that women were inferior to men, they had to obey the male figures in their lives. The woman was seen as the weaker sex either physically or emotionally which meant that it was entirely dependent on her husband if married and members of his family if single. Moreover, in the Elizabethan theater, women were not allowed to play because of this hierarchy. Therefore, they were replaced by men disguised as women. In the play Hamlet by William Shakespeare, published in 1601, women play a very special role. First, it should be noted that there are only two women in the room: Gertrude and Ophelia. By developing the role
Hamlet by William Shakespeare is considered to be the apogee of canonical texts. Hamlet who is seen to be the hero, seeks revenge of his uncle for killing his beloved father and marrying his mother. In the finale, all characters find an unfortunate end and leave the kingdom of Denmark to prince Fortinbras who coincidentally passes through to invade Poland. The play Hamlet has received great stricture from feminist critics due to the actions and behaviors of many of the characters in the play. Feminism is “the advocacy of woman 's rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men” (Dictionary.com). It is clearly evident that the female characters in Hamlet are ill fully treated due to the
The true tragedy of Hamlet is the way he viewed and criticized women. The Prince of Denmark seemed to have a nasty attitude towards women; if only they had lessons on sexism in the 16th century. Towards the end of the 16th century woman were given the basic privilege to learn how to read and write. However, many women did not learn anything past the very basics of reading and writing. Around the 16th century woman didn't have any rights and were often mistreated. Hamlet makes many remarks about women and it shows not only Hamlet’s view, but society's view on women during this time. At one point Hamlet is enraged by the things he has recently discovered and in a bit of rage he exclaims, “ Frailty, thy name is woman!” (Shakespeare 1.2.46) In this moment Hamlet is referring to his mother, and calls her morally weak. In the scene before this Hamlet is confronted with a ghost whom he thinks may be his late father. The ghost tells hamlet how his father was murdered by his uncle; the same person who Gertrude, Hamlet's mother, decided to remarry shortly after Hamlet's father's death. Now many people may say that Hamlet had a right to react the way he did given that he was still in shock with the recent news he had received, but did Hamlet have other accounts of casual
Hamlet’s dislike of women is shown through his behavior and language toward his mother, Ophelia, and women in general. In the play it is very obvious that he is heartless towards the opposite sex by the actions that he takes and the words that he speaks. During the time that this play was written women were viewed as insignificant human beings. Hamlet found himself having feelings for a woman and he does not know how to portray these feelings because he holds his mother responsible for his inability to love Ophelia.
"When a man gives his opinion he is a man. When a woman gives her opinion she is a bitch."- Bette Davis Throughout time society has used woman as a scapegoat for societal issues that have occurred. In the play Hamlet by William Shakespeare, Shakespeare uses character and rhetoric to display how ones hatred and anger are impulsively taken out upon woman, from this the reader learns how misogyny is difficult to acknowledge, but rather easy to practice.
Shakespeare's Hamlet is possibly one of the most interesting and complex pieces of literature he has ever written in his lifetime. It is complex with many plot twists and interesting scenes which he can only leave to the reader’s imagination. One thing that he leaves out in the open that isn’t really talked
Feminism has gained a new definition a new understanding of female roles since the Elizabethan Era. Hamlet, a play written by William Shakespeare, is about a young prince, Hamlet, being visited by his father’s apparition urging him to avenge his death by murdering Prince Hamlet’s uncle, Claudius. All the while, Hamlet is enraged by his mother’s hasty marriage to Claudius and is showering his supposed love, Ophelia, with gifts and words of affection. Queen Gertrude and Ophelia are blindly obedient to male authority due to the influence of the social standards that require women to be submissive to men. Queen Gertrude and Ophelia’s actions and outcomes as characters are affected by male influence, the social norms of this time, and the females’ consequences of following these norms.
Feminism has erupted over the past century. The theme of patriarchy has ruled over women for centuries. With the uprising of the critique of patriarchy, more feminists have analyzed Shakespeare’s literary works as in favor of the male gender roles. In Act 1 scene 3, the station of Polonius and Laertes reveals their patriarchal position over Ophelia by constructing advices that molds their expectations of her and degrading her in ways that exemplify the oppression of women during the 1600’s.
Hamlet and his father have a complex relationship that is comparable and distinctive to Ophelia’s relationship with her father. Both fathers, Polonius and the king, lecture their children similar to each other. One would say their relationships are identical however, gender roles play a part in how the children react to their parents. Women in the late 1500s were submissive to their parents and were not allowed to defend themselves. This corresponds with how Ophelia obeys her father even though she opposes him. At the same time, men had additional freedom and were allowed to speak their mind freely compared to women. Similar to how Hamlet and his father speak with one another. Hamlet has the courage to be sarcastic and to bluntly disobey his