Presentation of Relationships Between Men and Women in William Shakespeare's Hamlet

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Presentation of Relationships Between Men and Women in William Shakespeare's Hamlet

This title asks how Shakespeare 'presents' the male and female

relationships in 'Hamlet'. In using the word 'present' the writer is

presumably referring to both the acted productions of 'Hamlet' and the

written text. To present something is to consider something and then

act upon the findings, like Shakespeare did. In the light of this I

want to approach this essay from a dramatically point of view, which

is the primary reason behind a play. I think that in approaching form

this angle will give a fuller understanding of the relationships

portrayed throughout this much loved play. As director Kenneth Branagh

said before making his version of 'Hamlet':

"I do believe that Shakespeare is more understandable when it is

preformed. His plays were not written as plays, which had an immediate

life as a published document. They were written very quickly and put

on stage very quickly."

Branagh is saying that for someone to have a full understanding of

'Hamlet' as it is meant to be understood, they would need to see it

preformed.

Primarily I am going to focus on how men treated the only two women in

this play and the submission the female's had to undergo. I want to

focus mainly on Ophelia and how she was treated by her loved ones. By

her father, her brother, and most of all her lover, Hamlet- who were

all the main source for her deteriorating into madness. I will look at

how an actress from Elizabethan times would tackle her character and

how an actress today would choose to portray her considering the

audiences reaction.

I hope on the whole to sh...

... middle of paper ...

...eye. They would say that a son would be jealous of his

father and especially of his stepfather. In the light of this people

have picked up on Hamlet feeling this way about Gertrude. During Act

3, scene 4, Shakespeare has set the scene in the Queen's bedroom. This

immediately sets sexual connotations in the readers mind, and Hamlet

using such violent words to do with her making love to Claudius:

"Nay, but to live

In the rank sweat of an enseamèd bed,

Stewed in corruption, honeying and making love

Over the nasty sty-"

Showing that he seems to feel some sort of jealousy or anger that she

could make love to him, a murderer. He seems to mention Gertrude's

sexual life a lot during the speeches in the heat of the bedroom,

which could be mirroring his own feelings and thoughts about Gertrude

as a sexual idol.

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