Does Hamlet Experience Misogyny or Misplaced Emotions?
Grief and vengeance are irrational. The emotion is so strong at times it can alter a person to a mass degree. In Hamlet, Hamlet experiences firsthand the detrimental effects of what grief and vengeance can do to a person. The grief and vengeance that Hamlet feels, alongside his great intellect, allows him to treat Ophelia and Gertrude with inexcusable behavior. This leaves many to believe that Hamlet hates women, when that is not the case.
Hamlet does not hate women; he is hurt by the two women who are supposed to be his role models of what women are. His beloved father is “but two month’s dead!-nay, not so much, not two” (Shakespeare). And his mother, Gertrude, is already moving on. Hamlet knows his father loved Gertrude so much, “that he might not beteem the winds of heaven/ Visit her face too roughly” (Shakespeare). This is a devastating blow to Hamlet. Gertrude has not even mourned the dead king for a month before she is in bed with Claudius. Of all the men to move on to, Gertrude picks the man that killed her husband and Hamlet’s father.
Hamlet doesn’t hate his mother for her careless actions; he is confused and angry by them. It is bewildering to him, how a love so powerful can be thrown away just months after tragedy has struck. He even says in regards to his mother’s marriage, “It is not, nor it cannot come to good:/ but break my heart” (Shakespeare). The way he treats Gertrude isn’t a normal action for him. Everyone around Hamlet feels he has lost his mind and his actions are unusual. Should he actually hate women these aggressive actions would be more common, and less of a surprise to those around Hamlet. Instead many seem to think he has lost hi...
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... Polonius refers to Hamlet’s recent actions as “pranks” which suggest that they don’t think this is his normal behavior. Polonius thinks that Gertrude will be able to shake Hamlet from his madness. But she can’t because she doesn’t realize that she is part of his building emotions with her choice to be with Claudius instead of mourning her dead husband.
It is easy to believe that Hamlet is an all-out women hating person, but he is not. He is simply a prince who unjustifiably lost his father because of his uncle. And to make matters worse his uncle takes the throne and his mother away from him. Polonius forbids Hamlets love, Ophelia, from being with him in the mist of all this. Which is considerably the tipping point to his deline in the swell of painful emotion he has contained inside himself. Hamlet is in pain and acting out like a child, not becoming a misogynist.
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