Gender Roles In Hamlet

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Gender in Act III of Hamlet is something that’s super dependent on the time period, along with the traditional roles the characters play. Hamlet is set roughly around Shakespeare’s time, which was certainly a time before terms like “feminism” “equal rights” or “gender roles” were even thought of. However, in Hamlet, that’s not such a problem because women like Ophelia and Gertrude have a lot on their plate, whereas male characters like Hamlet, Claudius, and Polonius are also dealing with...well, a lot of issues too. Gender still plays a role in Act 3 however, with male characters like Polonius and Hamlet trying to make the best of power dynamics to control Ophelia and Gertrude. At the beginning of Act 3 Scene 1, Gertrude and Claudius receive Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. Gertrude does her part as queen and in her role as Hamlet’s mother, so she’s looking out for him and worried about the guy. Claudius asks Gertrude to leave as him, Polonius, and Ophelia are going to get down to their spying plan. This might not have major implications as far as gender goes, but it’s interesting to see that Claudius seems to think that Gertrude won’t be super helpful and even intrusive in their plan. Gertrude mentions Ophelia’s part in this noble plan: “And for your part, Ophelia, I do with that your good beauties be the happy cause of Hamlet’s wildness; so…show more content…
Gertrude is mocked a bit by having everyone around to see what Hamlet gives a little nudge-nudge-wink-wink to. Hamlet and Ophelia have a conversation that’s a bit sexual. At the end of this scene, Hamlet has to go talk to Gertrude. In the third scene of act 3, Claudius and Polonius plan to hide Polonius and spy on Gertrude and Hamlet’s conversation. It’s not a violation of her privacy or anything, because Polonius and Gertrude discuss it in the beginning of scene

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