Hamlet's words, “frailty thy, name is a woman” (1.2.148), forever redefined femininity in literature. Throughout works such as The Great Gatsby and Hamlet women are never treated as equals to their male counterparts and their role is characterized by misogyny, dependency and utter obedience. According to Aristotle, “the courage of a man lies in commanding, a woman's lies in obeying; that 'matter yearns for form, as the female for the male and the ugly for the beautiful”. Hamlet and The Great Gatsby reveal compelling parallels in their portrayal of the role of women. The mistreatment and inequality of women is a predominant issue in each work and is illustrated through the two main female protagonists, Queen Gertrude and Daisy Buchanan.
She states that “'Tis but thy name that is my enemy. Thou art thyself, though not a Montague”(II.ii.41-43). She sees that Romeo is what she assumed he would be like. He is different than his family and had no control over being a Montague. Juliet understands that the true enemy is the Montague name, not Romeo.
Like most plays, they each have a protagonist with a so-called ‘fatal flaw,’ a lapse in character that leads to conflict within the story. For Much Ado About Nothing, the protagonist Claudio is gullible, and believes the lie that his love is unfaithful to him. In King Lear, Lear is prideful, and takes his daughter’s refusal to pour praise onto him as a personal affront. Another similarity between the two shows would be the use of misconception to further the plot. Lear believes that his daughter does not care for him and so takes away her inheritance, while Claudio believes that his betrothed has been unfaithful and so shames her on their wedding day.
Ophelia’s father controls every aspect of her life. “Essentially, Ophelia has no control over her body, relationships, or her choices” (“Hamlet”). Ophelia accepts her lack of control and for that reason becomes a subservient person. For example, when Hamlet insults Ophelia multiple times and then asks where her father is, she responds with: “At home, my lord” (III.i.131). Instead of addressing him as Hamlet or using an endearing term, she speaks to him as though she is of a lower class.
It is shown when she is a young girl, when she is naïve and doesn’t understand that she is able to not follow the norm and do what she believes in. She and all the other girls were treated badly at Lowood and this pattern continues into Thornfield with men abusing their power and belittling the females to benefit and feel supreme for
His reference to her strong opinions as “Garbo routine’ clearly suggests that he does not respect her thoughts and modern world views. All of the above strongly confirms how he sees the female gender as inferior to men and how he uses his gender to dictate what he wants from her. He displays annoyance towards her modern views and also finds it funny that she wishes to become a doctor once again highlighting the stereotypes men has towards women. This clearly suggests that the play was written at a time when women are not very driven into bettering themselves because they are conditioned to thinking that they have no other place in male dominated society other than being wives, home-makers and mothers. All these statements
Throughout both plays and many others within, the general faultiness yet calculated cruelty of women are noted often by both male and female characters many times, including Phaedra and Medea. Since women only had the ability to be respected for few things, for example, the ability to bear children and keep a husband, it follows that stepping out of line could have severe consequences for them and their status. The imbalance of power in Greek and Roman society has created an outlet of seemingly disproportionate revenge committed by women, in response to their oppression. It is not truly disproportionate if one considers that a woman who had never been able to fight back or speak up in her life will one day respond with a collective blow to the patriarchy when it is vital for
He refers to her as two faced and thinks of her as a sexual object and whore. Ophelia had to deals with these two expectations of her and was never able to make any decisions for herself. She is too obedient and drives herself to madness because she can’t find any equilibrium. From the characteristics of Gertrude and Ophelia, you can see that women in the 1600’s were viewed as co-dependent, weak, and are held to unrealistic standards while being continuously degraded. It is made obvious that the culture in which a piece of literature is cultivated in effects the writing greatly.
In Othello, Desdemona has noticed a change of how Othello feels towards her. Othello has been so controlled by Iago that he considers “a man of honesty and trust” (I.iii.284), which lead him to doubt Desdemona’s faithfulness. Desdemona even wonders if a woman “would do such a deed for all the world” (IV.iii.65). Desdemona felt that all women in her society would never confront their husbands due to fear that was installed in them. Emalia explains to Desdemona that there are certainly women who would be unfaithful to their husbands.
This play and topic that I have chosen has been selected in order to highlight the true meaning of a woman. In feminist perspective we find that neither Hedda is being beaten by her husband nor are her rights being snatched. She is living liberally rather. The so-called feminism and the boundless liberty is merely a source of destruction for many women depriving them of motherly love and injecting them with frustration and depression. Hedda is a victim of all the negative qualities that can be imagined.
Ophelia was a modern day good girl gone bad. She obeyed her father, Polonius, and brother, Laertes’, wishes to stay away from Prince Hamlet while trying to fight for her love for Hamlet and being herself. In the end her battle to please the men in her life, along with the constant betrayals and deaths, led to her own madness and death. Ophelia had become a fallen angel trying to please herself and those around her. Natalie Merchant portrayed this very well in her song lyrics entitled, Ophelia.