Female Characters In Hamlet

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There is an interest in literature with well written female characters. Simple readers and well renowned critics alike all seem to greatly enjoy the concept of a well written woman. Modern authors, such as George RR Martin, who write these “interesting women” are still questioned today about where this comes from. People seem to have a fascination with women being written as intelligent beings, with their own important, motives. This fascination is often held mainly around just women characters who are just written as real women. Martin stated that the reason he writes women the way he does is embedded in the easy fact that he has “always seen women as people.” A simple response that has come along with such success in writing more well written…show more content…
However, their position as chess pieces for the men allows them to be the best possible catalysts through which conflict can arise and flourish. Nearly all conflict arises due to a male character seeking retribution or power, much of which is done because of the women or through the women. For example, the entire play revolves around Hamlet’s feelings of depression, angst and anger, making it only natural that any one thing that may inflict these feelings upon Hamlet will greatly change the course of the play. The main cause of his angst and anger is a female character’s actions; his mother’s marriage and, more importantly, sexual relations with Claudius. Hamlet is constantly tortured by the concept of his mother having sex with his uncle, it seems to be his most crippling issue and driving motive. This fixation upon these “betrayals”, as he sees them, is first revealed in Hamlet’s first soliloquy when he says, “She married. O most wicked speed, to post / with such dexterity to incestuous sheets!” (Shakespeare I. ii. 156-157). He holds onto this idea for the whole three years over which Hamlet is set, using it even in the last scene of the last act as he finally does murder Claudius. He pours poison into Claudius’ mouth while shouting to him, “Here, thou incestuous, murderous, damned Dane” (Shakespeare V. ii. 326) proclaiming incestuous before murderous, as if it matters more. As well as Gertrude, Ophelia’s actions, though they are often manipulated by the men around her, do greatly affect the plot. Her power over the plot is held on simply by the two male characters who claim to love her, but constantly have the need to prove themselves to each other. These two men are Hamlet and Laertes. Hamlet and Laertes raise conflicts between one another based on anything they can find to inflame their hatred.
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