Ophelia Submissive Women In Hamlet

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For the duration of the play, Ophelia was portrayed as a naïve and submissive woman. Her passivity and powerlessness reinforce the voicelessness of women during the Elizabethan era. For example, “I shall obey, my lord” (I.iii.134) shows that Ophelia concedes to her father’s will, even though she believes Hamlet’s love is genuine. She is willing and expected to obey her father despite the fact that she still loves Hamlet, which emphasizes her character’s submissive nature. Furthermore, in Act I Laertes warns Ophelia that it would be shameful of her to love Hamlet, and she responds with “I shall the effect of this good lesson keep as a watchman to my heart” (I.iii.45). She is assuring Laertes that she will remain obedient and follow his advice.

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