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Stereotypes In Hamlet

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Throughout history, stereotypical profiles of what a man or woman should be have determined how they are perceived by others. Men dominate their marriage, prove themselves courageous in the line of battle, and do whatever they need to do in order to achieve their goals. Shakespeare's representation of women, and the ways in which his female roles are interpreted and enacted, have become a topic interest. In one of Shakespeare’s most popular plays, Hamlet, a female character by the name, Ophelia, is portrayed as an immensely weak character. The first time her character is introduced in Act 1, Scene 3, both her brother, Laertes, "Be wary, then. Best safety lies in fear" (1.3.43-45), as well as her father, Polonius, "I would not, in plain terms, from this time forth, Have you so slander any moment leisure, As to give words or talk with the Lord Hamlet" (1.3.133-135) prohibited her from pursuing any further…show more content…
She convinces him to go through with killing King Duncan. Lady Macbeth does not align with the stereotypes of Shakespeare’s, but shifts through male and female qualities during the play, right until her death. Lady Macbeth transitions from being shown as a common wife “of the emerging middle class” to a stronger masculine influence on the plot “because she perceives that her society equates feminine qualities with weakness”. The three witches and the head of the witches, Hecate, give Macbeth just enough information so that his natural instincts toward ambition and greed are stirred up. He literally destroys himself with the help of the witches’ manipulation; this shows how much power of influence this character had over the main protagonist, a man. Contrast to the submissive qualities of the women in Hamlet who let themselves be told off and ruled by the male
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