People have mostly seen women inferior to men because women have been thought of as simple-minded and could not take care of themselves. Shakespeare’s Hamlet shows how men treated and thought of women during the 1500s. There was an order most did not interfere with; however, some did. In the 1500s, women were supposed to conform to men’s wishes. Throughout the play, Ophelia first obeyed her father and brother’s wishes, ignored the social norms later, and then went mad, which caused her to never gain her own identity.
A Feminist Reading of The Winter’s Tale In the Shakespearean tragedies we have studied, we have been exposed to tragic male protagonists who create their own downfall. Within these tragedies, Shakespeare's female characters are vested with varying degrees of power in relation to the tragic heroes. In looking back at Othello, King Lear, and Macbeth, The Winter's Tale can be seen as an extension of the exploration into the nature of women and power broached in his earlier tragedies, as well as an amendment for the misogynistic attitudes they contain. In our class discussions, we were vexed by a condition we found prevalent in both Othello and King Lear; both of these plays end with the deaths of two innocent women: Desdemona and Cordelia. Not only are these women innocent, they are by far the most benevolent and forgiving female characters in the play, little deserving their violent ends.
Women in the renaissance era did not have much power in society, their gender roles were very “clearly defined with men reigning superior over women” (“The Life and Roles of Elizabethan Era Women”). In the book Wooing, Wedding, and Power: Women in Shakespeare’s plays Irene Dash believes that Desdemona "is a woman slowly tamed in the crucible of marriage." Dash argues that more is expected from Desdemona than from Othello and that in the play she is made weak and overly passive to her husband (103). In the beginning of the play after Desdemona and Othello are married in secret, Desdemona reasons with her father saying although she owes much to him "for life and education" Othello is her husband "And so much duty as [her] mother show'd/ To [her father], preferring [him] before her [own]father,/ So much [she] challenge that [she] may profess/ Due to the Moor [her] lord"(1,3,530-37). Desdemona not only uses logic to present her argument but she is listened to by the Duke, senators, officers, and her father bo... ... middle of paper ... ...s relationship.
Introduction “Must, like a whore, unpack my heart with words, and fall a-cursing, like a very drab, A scullion!” These words, spoken by the main character Hamlet in Shakespeare’s play Hamlet, highlight the role of the two females character in the play. Gertrude, mother of Hamlet and Ophelia, Hamlet’s object of love, the only two female characters in the play, help to expose the mistreatment, manipulation, and discrimination women faced within the tragedy, and possibly society during the time the play was written. Throughout the entire novel Ophelia is controlled, dominated, and manipulated by men. This is reflected through her actions and her speech. Having no female alliances or friends, Ophelia has no one to confide in or to relate to.
Generations of readers and performers have misunderstood her character, and probably misrepresented her. Tucking Katharina into the "crazy shrew" package may be very convenient for the director looking for an easy production, but it is probably incorrect. In fact, no production that produces the play as a straightforward farce does the character of Katharina any justice. Works Cited MacKenzie, Agnes Mure. The Women in Shakespeare's Plays.
Gender Bias in Othello Shakespeare’s tragic play Othello is an unfortunate example of gender bias, of sexism which takes advantage of women. The three women characters in the drama are all, in their own ways, victims of men’s skewed attitudes regarding women. Let us delve into this topic in this essay. Barbara A. Mowat and Paul Werstine comment in the Introduction to Shakespeare: Othello that sexism is a big factor in the play: At this point in our civilization the play’s fascination and its horror may be greater than ever before because we have been made so very sensitive to the issues of race, class, and gender that are woven into the texture of Othello. [.
He tells Ophelia that Hamlet is no good for her. For Hamlet, and the trifling of his favor, Hold it a fashion, and a toy in blood; A violet in the youth of pri... ... middle of paper ... ... as hers, does not have the tools necessary for coping with the stresses of life. Sources Cited and Consulted: Boklund, Gunnar. "Hamlet." Essays on Shakespeare.
By:Tine Ndhlovu Hamlet 's Conflicting View of Women INTRODUCTION Although women do not appear often or say much in Shakespeare 's Hamlet, they constantly are displayed through the motives and actions of the men in the play. The Elizabethan era and the Chain of being in the sixteenth century, may play a part in the play 's tragedy. Hamlet’s conflicted view of women, prevents him from extracting revenge and it leads him to his downfall. Hamlet views women as weak, sexualized, untrustworthy and inferior. Hamlet views women this way, due to the situations that occur around him and the only two women in his life, Gertrude and Ophelia.
Yet, in many aspects Hamlet shows the hidden feelings that women have towards their treatment. Characters, such as Ophelia often go against the societal norm and display the obscured side of early feminism in women. For the longest time, women could not create their own thoughts; they were often advised and accompanied by their male relatives, as in the play. As a consequence, Ophelia is unable to make her own choices throughout the play, except at the extremity to end her own life. Ophelia depends so entirely upon this relationship to male characters that beyond it she cannot think nor act for herself--in effect, she does not have an identity.
Gender criticism is a very interesting topic being debated by many, where men go to work and the woman stay home. Woman don’t have an equal roles to men especially in Shakespeare’s plays, also in Hamlet the woman were treated like objects, and being degraded. In the end Ophelia and Gertrude don’t have a voice in the play. The female characters in the play are seen as the property of men and they have no say over their bodies or their future. In (III, i, -).