What Is Ophelia's Portrayal Of Women In Hamlet

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Women equality is something we hear about a lot and the fight that women have to fight in order to achieve the rights of men has been an uphill battle for women all over the world. The theme of women occurs often throughout Hamlet, and encourages the idea that women are seen as powerless, property, and unable to function without a man. Our society has come a long way since the days of Shakespeare, but there are still underlying issues that we see today. In act 1, scene 3, Shakespeare 's portrayal of Ophelia is that she is not a person but an object, and does not need to be treated with respect. Her father treat her as his property, and Hamlet sees her good for one thing, sex. Making Ophelia choose between her father and her prince, which neither of…show more content…
In act 1, scene 5, when the ghost commands Hamlet to seek revenge, Hamlet first curses his mother “That one may smile, and smile, and be a villain!”. Women were expected to instantly obey any male in the family and Gertrude follows orders without hesitation, most likely in fear of being punished she says “I shall obey you” in Act 3. The women in Shakespeare are consistently loyal to the men in their lives, no matter what the circumstances, which is not fair at all to women. By saying women must be loyal to men, even if they treat them poorly makes women completely lesser to men and allows them to walk all over women. Men all over in Hamlet share the same opinion on women and believe their actions are okay. Both Hamlet and Polonius treat Ophelia as a lesser person and cause her to feel all kinds of emotions such as powerless, worthless, and not good enough. Like anyone, these feelings caused her to go mad and ultimately caused her death. Gertrude is also characterized as weak and obedient which causes her to make unmoral and impulse choices. Their tragic deaths can both be blamed on the issue of gender
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