Misogyny In Hamlet And Ophelia

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Misogyny, by definition, is the dislike towards women for a particular motive. In William Shakespeare’s play, Hamlet, Shakespeare elucidates his misogynistic tendencies through the characters in the play—particularly Hamlet. The role of women in Hamlet is little short of misogynistic as Hamlet consistently displays throughout the play evidence of misogynistic behavior through his views of women being cruel, adulterous, and frail. Fundamentally, there are merely two female characters in Hamlet; Ophelia and Gertrude. Though Ophelia does not intend on wounding Hamlet emotionally, she does so for being submissive to her father which conforms to the misogynistic attitude of women being powerless and pathetic as Ophelia is under control by …show more content…

Hamlet’s views on women is adulterous which pertains to the misogynistic tendencies in the play; thus, Hamlet’s mother, Gertrude, sparks up his misogynistic approaches. Hamlet is repulsed with Gertrude since she was quick to re-wed immediately following Old Hamlet’s death and cries: “She married. O, most wicked speed, to post / With such dexterity to incestuous sheets!” (1.2.156-157). Hamlet is shocked that his mother remarries to Claudius, Old Hamlet’s brother, before letting the tears on her cheek to dry. This quotation illuminates Gertrude’s act of incest which can be classified as an aspect of adultery. Hamlet’s views of marriage are potentially destroyed because of Gertrude’s remarriage and women in general as he states to Ophelia: “Of if thou wilt needs marry, marry a fool; for wise men know well enough what monsters you make of them” (3.1.138-140). Although Gertrude is to blame for Hamlet’s negative outlook on marriage, his misogynistic attitude comes to light as he classifies all women (including Ophelia) as cheaters and liars. Moreover, Hamlet confronts Gertrude for her incestuous and adulterous crimes and speaks: “Nay, but to live / In the rank sweat of an enseamèd bed, / Stewed in corruption, honeying and making love” (3.4.91-94). Hamlet is speaking his dagger-like words to Gertrude which confirms of her adulterous acts and Gertrude responds: “O Hamlet, speak no more. / Thou turn’st mine eyes into my very soul, / And there I see such black and grained spots” (3.4.88-90). Gertrude uncovers that she has morality and she is guilty of her sins. The references to the ‘black and grained spots’ are metaphors that alludes to her incest and her obedience with Claudius’ murderous act. Consequently, Hamlet’s view of women being adulterous not only root from his mother; however, they root from his misogynistic tendencies as

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