Role Of Women In Hamlet

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In Shakespeare’s Hamlet, women are portrayed as weak, foolish, easily manipulated, and dependent on men through their behaviors and interactions with the male characters. Gertrude is dependent on Claudius as he is her new husband and king. Ophelia is manipulated by both her father and her brother, as well as Hamlet. Both female characters are considered weak through the male character’s eyes, especially through Hamlet’s perspective. The men act condescending towards the “lesser” characters of Hamlet: the women.
Since Gertrude remarried so quickly after her former husband’s death and clings to her new husband, she is seen as desperate and morally weak in her son Hamlet’s eyes. Hamlet observes that Gertrude “would hang on him as if increase of appetite had grown by what it fed on, and yet, within a month--let me not think on ‘t. Frailty, thy name is woman” (Shakespeare 1.2). It was at this moment in the story that Hamlet self-proclaims his ill-feelings towards women. After Hamlet unknowingly murders Claudius, Gertrude says to him “Oh, what a rash and bloody deed this is,” to which Hamlet replies “a bloody deed? Almost as bad, good mother, as kill a king and marry with his brother” (Shakespeare 3.4). This is an example of a male character speaking in a condescending tone towards a female character in Hamlet. Even though Gertrude is Hamlet’s mother, he belittles her. Hamlet basically informs his mother that “she is a weak female who couldn’t think past her need for pleasure long

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