The Object Of Ophelia

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Ophelia: An object of Male Patriarchy

“Ophelia is the object upon which the three male overlords in her life – Hamlet, Polonius, Laertes – exert their domination and control to further their own personal and political agendas”. (Tynelle, 18).
My reading of Ophelia had been shaped by Tynelle Ann Olivas’s Thesis on “Who is Ophelia? An examination of the Objectification and Subjectivity of Shakespeare 's Ophelia”. My reading talks about how Ophelia is subject to Male Patriarchy, to which she receives in return humiliation, madness, and death. I will be discussing how Laertes used his Patriarchal power over Ophelia to be her mock-father, Polonius objectified her as an obedient pawn, and Hamlet used her as an object to portray his antic-disposition. All of which leads her to take her own life. Laertes uses his Patriarchal authority over Ophelia to use her as his own mock-daughter to prepare himself for his future Patriarchal duties. As Laertes and Ophelia enter their first scene together, Laertes does not call Ophelia by her name, but refers to her by, “And sister” (Shakespeare, 1.3.2). By doing this Laertes refers to her more as an object, than a person. Laertes goes on to say, “do not sleep/But let me hear from you”, (Shakespeare, 1.3.3-4) He shows authority over Ophelia by telling her to stop from what she is doing, to tell him about Hamlet. After she has done so, Laertes warns her about Hamlet, “For Hamlet, and the trifling of his favour/Hold it a fashion, and a toy in
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