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Misogyny In Hamlet Essay

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Hamlet is one of the most controversial characters from all of the Shakespeare’s play. His character is strong and complicated, but his jealousy is what conduces him to hate women. He sees them as weak, frail, and untrustworthy. He treats Ophelia, the women he loves, unfair and with cruelty. Similarly, he blames his mother for marrying her dead husband’s brother, who is now the King of Denmark. Hamlet’s treatment for women stems from his mother’s impulsive marriage to his uncle who he hates and Ophelia choosing her father’s advice over him. Hamlet shows much anger and disrespect to the women in his life. Ophelia’s believing her father’s words breaks Hamlets heart, being the reason for his treatment towards not just her but his mother. Ophelia…show more content…
Hamlets ridiculed feelings for women was because of his mother’s disappointing action. Hamlets mothers’ marriage with Claudius not so long after his father’s death did not show her devotion to her husband’s memory in the way a loving wife should. ”O god a beast that wants discourse of reason would have mourned longer” (l.2.150) degrading Gertrude, as he believes an animal would find the loss of its mate more upsetting than the queen did when she lost her husband. In his mind women are frail and weak this is why he says that women is just another name for weakness. “Frailty, thy name is woman” (l.2.148) generalizing that all women are frail and incapable to withstand temptation. His bitterness has lead him to believe that all women are dishonest and untrustworthy because his mother easily moved on from the husband she so thought to have loved and worse married his brother a month after his death. Hamlet starts to torment his mother by telling her that she is sleeping with her husband’s killer. “But you live in the rank sweat of an enseamed bed, stewed in corruption and making love over that nasty sty” (3.4.100) trying to make her realize the wrong that she has done, being easy to fall in love with another man because she required comfort. To Hamlet his mother is weak, surrendering to lust, changing Hamlets view and sparking his hate for women, seeing how they are not loyal. “When the compulsive ardour gives…show more content…
Hamlets misogyny is not something that was engrained in his culture but what his mother has engrained within him. Hamlet hasn’t always hated women as he does now, his harsh treatment of Gertrude and Ophelia are because of their betrayal of his love. Hamlet knows that even though she has made mistakes she has not stopped being a mother to him, apart from that he stills feels anger towards her and the hate that he now feels for Ophelia is just a displacement of his feelings for his mothers, “the total reaction culminates in the bitter misogyny of his outburst against Ophelia…Hamlet is really expressing his bitter resentment against his mother” (1199) towards the poor and innocent Ophelia. His hate for women is just his frustration for his mother and Ophelia blinding him and not truly him hating women because in Ophelia’s grave he tells Laertes “I loved Ophelia, Forty thousand brothers could not with all their quantity of love make up my sum.” (5.1.262) Hamlets repulsion against women is just him repressing his true love for the women in his life who have hurt him, “the powerful repression to which his sexual feelings are being subjected.”
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