Oppression Of Women In Shakespeare's Hamlet

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All the way through time and history, women have been treated as a subject of persecution and oppression in many societies. The manner in which men have controlled, used and abused women has been reinforced into a movement of human rights. Such treatment is fought against in the civilized societies with equality and freedom in the center of it. Clearly, it has been obvious in Shakespeare 's plays how women have been viewed and treated by the characters. He has demonstrated for us how women are in the center of domination and control (Dorn, 1999). The scenes he shows to us are repeated in different ways displaying the horrible actions that are taken against women in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. One important female repression is…show more content…
She suffers from extreme cruelty by her own father Polonius. He is the worst image of a father because he disrespects, controls and manipulates his own daughter for his own whims (Dorn, 1999). For example, he orders Ophelia to participate in uncovering the thoughts of Hamlet "...Walk you here… Read on this book that shows such exercise may color your loneliness"(III.i:41-46) in this excerpt, he orders her to pretend to read from a book in order to make it more reasonable to be alone when she meets Hamlet. Obviously, she follows exactly what her father tells her to as she replies to his orders "I shall obey my lord"(I.iv:136). She continues talking with Hamlet (her lover) as she tries to give back to him the gifts in which he once has given to her. Similarly, Hamlet also mistreats her as he replies that he has never given her any gifts, and he continues denying even though she insists that he did. Hamlet then denies that he has ever loved her and that she is better off in a nunnery. He goes further in identifying her only by her sexuality and he judges her to be a breeder of sinners. She suffers from an emotional breakdown because of the treatment of the one person she loves (Hulbert et al., 2006). "How now, Ophelia! You need not tell us what lord Hamlet said; we heard it all"(III.i:181-183), cruelly, in this excerpt, her father Polonius does not seem to understand the emotional situation in which he has put his daughter in nor to comprehend the damage he has caused to Ophelia and Hamlet 's relationship. He does not care about his daughter 's happiness; all he cares about is himself, and pleasing the king. Ophelia is unable to apprehend the dominance of her father as she obeys him blindly even in scheming against her beloved Hamlet. In addition, Polonius gives an advice to his son Laertes which is "Give thy thoughts no tongue, Nor any unproportioned thought his act"(I.iii:59-60)

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