Gender Inequality In Hamlet

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Gender inequality has been and occurring issues, that oppressed women in a world influenced by men. Women have been oppressed by men for a long time as stated, “It arose with the division of society into classes and the emergence of class society some 6,000 or so years ago.” (Sewell) As social classes formed along with it came sexism with the establishment of male norms resulting in the oppression of women. In Hamlet by William Shakespeare, there are many features that suggest women were seen as lesser than a man. Shakespeare displays characters that support the patriarchal environment set upon by men, an example would be Polonius. Polonius is a male character in the play that classifies women as unintelligent and hopeless at making their…show more content…
Polonius is the father of Ophelia and he treats her as though she had no mind and own free will. Polonius speaks to Ophelia and says, “Marry, I‟ll teach you. Think yourself a baby…Running it thus—you‟ll tender me a fool,” (Hamlet 47) this mean that Polonius sees Ophelia as a foolish little baby dude to her choosing to believe the offers that Hamlet offered her. In addition, Polonius displayed sexism towards women by acknowledging them as foolish children that make the wrong decision if they are not made for them a man. Polonius goes on to add that Ophelia’s action in choosing and make her own choice will cause her to bring shame and embarrassment, resulting in him being a “laughing-stock.” This would state male figures in Hamlet sought women as an object that would bring shame to them in public eyes if they spoke for themselves. Polonius is exposed as a man that only sees women as sex object along with every other man, as Hamlet states, “He‟s for a jig or a tale of bawdry, or he sleeps,”(Hamlet 113) this mean that Polonius only like the sex scenes or dances in a play and would rather only sleep through the rest. As a result, hamlet not only exposes Polonius as a man that enjoys women as sex objects, but also referring to the thought of all men when they see women, seeing how Hamlet came up with the thought. The male characters in Hamlet create a patriarchic
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