Representation Of Women In Shakespeare's Hamlet

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As the years pass the idea of treating women poorly has died out quickly. Although modern day society is very hostile towards anything even remotely sexist, there is a benefit to seeing how the opinions about women have changed over time. The female characters portrayed in Shakespeare's Hamlet are used as a pawn, only to quicken plot development. Their characters either lack depth, or are killed off where their death can then only end up being forgotten quickly. The main female characters are Ophelia and Gertrude, who are Hamlet’s girlfriend and mother respectively. Ophelia is the only female who undergoes an actual change in her character, but is killed off and is forgotten instantly by the male characters. Roles portrayed by women in the…show more content…
The female roles are looked at as unimportant and disposable and are portrayed as such. With Hamlet getting over Ophelia’s death in such a short amount of time and with everyone pausing for only a few seconds for Gertrude’s death, it shows that these characters were to only have minor influence and should be forgotten about quickly. The deaths serve as quick plot development with no real emotion attached to either death from any characters. Shakespeare seems to be pointing towards saying that these characters were nothing really special, even though the most tragic part of the entire play was Ophelia’s fall into madness due to her losing everything. Ophelia being used by her father and abused by Hamlet further reinforce the notion that she was treated like property, to be used in any way possible to benefit Polonius. Gertrude is rarely mentioned as she only serves as an extra character for Hamlet to be angry at, with her character being static throughout the play. Gertrude has no extra roles in the plot and serves as another receiver of Hamlet’s verbal abuse. The sexism that was present in Shakespeare’s time is prevalent in all his plays, with Hamlet not being an

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