Feminism in both "Hamlet" and "Lady Oracle"

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The literary works, Hamlet and Lady Oracle, chart both the life’s course of their main characters and underline the protagonist’s trajectory in some decisive moments of their existence, when both of them, Hamlet and Joan Foster, need to take some decisions which may change their destinies.

In this brief essay I will try to point out similarities and differences between these two stories taking into consideration a feminist approach.

First and foremost I would like to mention what do I mean by feminist approach and how do I intend to apply it to my essay. Feminism is a political discourse aimed at equal rights and legal protection for women. It involves various movements, theories and philosophies, all concerned with issues of gender differences; that advocate equality for women; and that campaign for women's rights and interests. By taking a feminist approach with this essay I mean to hint, on the one hand, between the similarities and differences of the two stories some adjoining aspects to feminism and, on the other hand, to try to give a short feminist reading to both stories.

If we are to talk about similarities between these two literary works, we can underline the protagonist’s problematic relationship with other characters as well as their extraordinary meetings with ghosts.

Nevertheless, no less important, are the differences between these two stories; to begin with the setting of each work and the two societies in which the stories take place.

I begin with the analysis of the differences; these are the setting’s comparison as well as the social context’s one. I have chosen these two aspects since I consider that the social context was a key factor for the development of the feminist movement as well as the histor...

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...r. Some critics, and notably, Elaine Showalter points out that Ophelia has become the symbol of the distraught and hysterical woman in modern culture.

Atwood's Lady Oracle is a feminist novel even only for the fact that its central theme is about the formation of gender identity. Joan writes and is written about; if Atwood writes about Joan's childhood experiences, about her interaction with male partners and other woman, then Joan writes about the precariousness of feminine subjectivity in a male-dominated world thanks to her character, Charlotte.

All in all, I would like to conclude in saying that both literary works can be analyzed, interpreted and argued about from many perspectives; Hamlet, because of the play's dramatic structure and depth of characterization, and Lady Oralce, because of the complexity of the main character and the novel's form novelty.
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