Feminist Perspective In Hamlet

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Hamlet: a Feminist Perspective
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” ( It is clearly evident that the female characters in Hamlet are ill fully treated due to the
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/Set your entreatments at a higher rate/Than a command to parley" (Act I, Scene III, 120 - 123).When looking at Polonius ' interactions with his daughter he is depicted to be a very conservative father who advises Ophelia not to engage in immoral acts with a silly boy and to keep her chastity safe. He goes on to tell her that she must obey her father and that it is important for a women to stay 'pure '; but when we look at Polonius ' interactions with his son Laertes he says, "Give thy thoughts no tongue,/ Nor any unproportioned thought his act./ Be thou familiar but by no means vulgar./ Those friends thou hast, and their adoption tried,/ Grapple them unto thy soul with hoops of steel,/ But do not dull thy palm with entertainment/ Of each new-hatched, unfledged comrade. Beware/ Of entrance to a quarrel, but being in, / Bear ’t that th ' opposèd may beware of thee./ Give every man thy ear but few thy voice" (Act I, Scene III, 60 -69)., depicting a more liberal character. The differentiated treatment which can be seen in the interaction between Polonius and his children allows the audience to understand the stereotypical views that have been instilled in society and how a women must act in order to be deemed 'pure ' or a 'good girl '. Another instance that depicts the differentiated treatment of men and women can be seen when looking at a dialogue between Hamlet and his mother. Throughout the conversation and various parts of the play, Hamlet expresses his disgust for his mother 's actions. He insults her by comparing his father to Hyperion and Claudius to a satyr. He tells Gertrude not to sin by sleeping with him and tells her she is nothing but lustful for marrying a man like Claudius when he says, “That blurs the grace and blush of modesty,/ Calls virtue hypocrite, takes off the rose/ From the fair forehead of an innocent love/ And sets a blister there, makes marriage vows/ As false as dicers ' oaths—oh, such a
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