Ophelia's Impulsiveness In Hamlet

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Hamlet’s impulsiveness also characterizes him as feminine, as the tendency to act out of emotion rather than rational thought is traditionally considered feminine. Although Hamlet thinks often, he does not often apply this thought to his actions and instead, when he does act, he does so impulsively. Hamlet’s impulsiveness “which induces him to jump into Ophelia’s open grave with Laertes, which leads him to slay Polonius the instant that he see the hangings stir, and which enables him at last to take his full revenge upon the spur of the moment and without premeditation” exemplifies his femininity in that he does all of these things without thinking before and instead acts completely on his emotions (Vining 54). In jumping into Ophelia’s grave, Hamlet acts…show more content…
Although Hamlet plans to kill the king the entire play, he ultimately does so in an impulsive manner, acting purely on emotion rather than acting out a planned course of action. In this moment, Hamlet displays his feminine characteristics because women are characterized by impulsive behavior in the play and the inclination to act on emotion. In killing Polonius, Hamlet exemplifies his impulsiveness perfectly, as his murder was not premeditated, rather abrupt and based on emotion. Hamlet does not rationally think through killing Polonius, as the ideal Shakespearian man would, he simply acts out of his rage and does what first comes to mind—killing the intruder. Hamlet’s inclination towards acting out of emotion and without thought in all of these instances of impulsive action characterizes him as feminine, as women are traditionally considered creatures “of feeling” rather than “thinking” (Guo 91).
Hamlet’s femininity is increasingly perceived as madness by the men around him due to the correlation between madness and femininity perceived throughout history. Madness is traditionally thought of as an “exclusively female complaint, as the
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