Essay on Analysis Of ' Hamlet ' And One Flew Over The Cuckoo 's Nest '

Essay on Analysis Of ' Hamlet ' And One Flew Over The Cuckoo 's Nest '

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Thriving, or Just Surviving, in a Man’s World
“Women have been taught that, for us, the earth is flat, and that if we venture out, we will fall off the edge,” verbalizes Andrea Dworkin. Gender-roles have been ingrained in the every-day life of people all around the world since the beginnings of civilization. Both One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and Hamlet portray typical female stereotypes in different time periods. Due to the representation of women in literature like Hamlet by William Shakespeare and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kessey, and pop-culture, evidence of classic gender-based stereotypes in a consistently patriarchal world are still blatantly obvious in today’s societies.
William Shakespeare’s classic tragedy, Hamlet, Prince of Denmark portrays women in a very classic and derogatory manner that was typical of the sixteen-hundreds. Ophelia, Hamlet’s betrothed, is the epitome of what women were “meant” to be in Elizabethan England. Wendy J. Rodgers, a writer at the University of Delaware, describes Ophelia as “the embodiment of cherished femininity.” (Rodgers) “Ophelia, I do wish that your good beauties be the happy cause of Hamlet’s wildness; so shall I hope your virtues will bring him to his wonted ways again.” (III.i.39-43) Once she is thought to be impure, she commits suicide as it is the only socially acceptable way to go about the situation. This play showed the beginnings of a practice called “slut shaming,” which is now used as a form of discrimination against women “Slut shaming is the idea of shaming and/or attacking a woman or a girl for being sexual, acknowledging sexual feelings, or acting on sexual feelings.” (Levy) Even before it is revealed that Ophelia is likely pregnant prior to marriage, her...


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...a technique for limiting the possibilities of women, an injustice that needs to end.
Culture, including media and writings, from past to present, is what drives the patriarchy and degradation of women today. Hamlet by William Shakespeare is an incredibly classic piece of literature that shows the beginnings of the patriarchy and slut-shaming as expressed to the public. Ken Kessey’s, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, represents a more advanced time that still lives according to gender stereotypes despite a strong female lead. Today, children are still preconditioned from before the time they can read that women should like traditionally feminine aspects of life, and that they will never be able to account for more than, or as much as, men. How will girls ever truly “follow their dreams” if they are constantly reminded from birth that they will never be equal to men?

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