Women In Hamlet

analytical Essay
1061 words
1061 words

Frailty, Thy Name Is Women
“Frailty thy name is women” (I.II.150) are words which are spoken by Prince Hamlet, the prominent character of the tragedy play Hamlet by Shakespeare, in his first soliloquy. These words underline how Hamlet truly feels about Gertrude, the queen, and Ophelia, his “beloved” maiden, and women in general. Although the two women play awfully passive characters and lack their voice for the world to hear, they are significantly important because they show how Hamlet, possibly Shakespeare, are a misogynist, which is one of the themes of the play. Through the fickle, passive, and submissive portrayal of the two woman characters, Shakespeare shows women needs to have an autonomy-sense, otherwise their lives will turn out to “cannot come to good” (I.II.163).
Firstly, Gertrude is introduced as a queen that clearly lacks independency. In the beginning of the play, she is as a character that always in need of a male existence next to her. Just “within a month” (I.II.149) after the late King Hamlet deceased, she already hurried herself to get another husband. This attitude of hers sickens Hamlet terribly; he cannot come to comprehend how his mother could behave less than a beast, for a beast “would have mourned longer” (I.II.150). Shakespeare sets the play with this idea that women are corrupted with sexual drive—and always in lust for it. Because Gertrude obediently follows her lustful inner soul, she goes on ahead with the marriage with Claudius—which Hamlet refers to as “incestuous” and “rotten”. The moment the marriage is royally held, Gertrude loses her credibility as a mother in Hamlet’s eyes. Adding to this, Shakespeare uses the character Gertrude to show indecisiveness and hollowness of women. The character ...

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...r extremely mournful and elegiacal attitudes towards Ophelia. She says, “sweet to the sweets” (V.I.254) as she scatters flowers upon her coffin. She knows what a sweetheart Ophelia is and empathize her. Ophelia’s association with flowers represents the once young and pure maiden that tragically dies due to the fatal-innocent trait she possesses.
Kate Morton, an author of the novel The Forgotten Garden, stated “A girl expecting rescue never learns to save herself”. This implies that a girl with a will to only follow men’s order around will ought to “come to no good” outcome. Shakespeare showcases this idea through the portrayals of Gertrude and Ophelia. Both characters are fiercely submissive to their male counterparts; hence they are controlled by them. Because they have no sense of agency in their lives, their lives destined to have a tragic ending entailing it.

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how prince hamlet's words in his first soliloquy underline how he feels about gertrude, the queen, and ophelia and women in general.
  • Analyzes how shakespeare uses the character gertrude to show indecisiveness and hollowness of women.
  • Analyzes how ophelia's sobbing and madness after the death of polonius showcase how unconfident she is to have an agency of her own.
  • Analyzes how shakespeare stresses that women who are completely oblivious to the corruption around them will end up doomed, and tragedy will occur.
  • Analyzes how shakespeare showcases this idea through the portrayals of gertrude and ophelia. both characters are fiercely submissive to their male counterparts.
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