Feminism In Hamlet Essay

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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. Looking through the critical perspective of feminism, Hamlet shows the influence of…show more content…
Marion D. Perret, in “Petruchio: The Model Wife,” states, “The relationship and duties of husband and wife are copiously discussed in Elizabethan sermons and books on domestic conduct. The playwright need not have one of these works beside him as he wrote: the standards set forth in them were widely enough known that he could assume, for instance, that playgoers would understand why Desdemona should come and go at her husband’s command even after he has unjustly struck her- the onstage audience shows shock at Othello’s action, but no surprise at Desdemona’s obedience (pg. 223-224).” According to this textual evidence, using characters from another Shakespeare play, Othello inequitably strikes Desdemona, in which Desdemona reacts by obeying her husband. The example of Othello and Desdemona can show that females’ blind cooperation toward their husband or other male authority is customary for the Elizabethan era. Hamlet shows blind obedience of women toward men due to the fact that this was the social and historical
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