Women’s Roles in Hamlet In the play Hamlet, Shakespeare, the author, creates female characters that occupy very different roles than in his other plays. In this play, Hamlet plays opposite two women who are used by the men around them in order to further their own interests. One woman is named Ophelia. In many of Shakespeare’s other plays, he creates women that are very strong and play a very real role in the life of the protagonist. In Hamlet, however, Ophelia occupies a very different role-she exemplifies a pawn of the men around her.
As Gertrude says when hamlet confronts her, about marrying his uncle. ?Oh Hamlet thou hast left my heart in twain.? (3:4:154) Ophelia certainly is driven mad, partly by her father?s emotional manipulation on her, but also I believe by hamlets, denying of their love, and taunting after he finds out she is used to spy on him. Claudius I believe does, have reluctance and sometimes portrays the characteristics of a mad man, when he finds out he has been tricked by Hamlet, after the Mousetrap he shows the manic tendencies. This could be equated to anyone in the same situation.
He tricks Othello into thinking the worst about Cassio and that he is having an affair with Othello’s wife Desdemona. Throughout the tragic play of Othello, Shakespeare uses an ongoing theme of appearance versus reality to show how Iago manipulates each character, especially Roderigo and Othello, into misinterpreting what they see. Iago is a very tricky character; he pretends to be a loyal servant to Othello, but is also secretly destroying his marriage at the same time. There is a lot of dramatic irony throughout the entire play, the audience knows all about Iago’s motives and no one else does. In the beginning on the play Iago talks about his hatred towards Othello and gives the audience an inside view on all of his true motives.
Kent notes in the shelter, that "his wits begin to unsettle." Scene IV is a blatant display of madness by Lear and the acting Edgar, who converse with each other in incoherent outbursts. Lear becomes more and more unstable as he uses two stools as models of his daughters and places them on trial for the crimes they have committed against him. In Act IV, Edgar is reunited with Gloucester, who thinks he is a madman. Edgar actually saves his father's life in this act, still pretending to be mad the entire time.
Although Queen Gertrude and Ophelia rarely speak, they function as a way for the men become informed about Hamlet’s mental state and motives for madness. Each woman made choices that greatly impacted the story plot and the lives of the characters. Ophelia’s suicide causes Laertes’s to desire revenge on Hamlet, and Gertrude’s infidelity and purposeful ignorance intensifies Hamlet’s urge for revenge.
It shows clearly intense relationships which cause Hamlet a certain amount of pain. He is ‘trying’ to portray madness in his character with Ophelia in the nunnery scene and with Gertrude in the closet scene. Perhaps the reason of madness towards Gertrude is the fact that she has married his uncle. The reason behind the cruelty towards Ophelia could also be the fact that it is a kind cruelty trying to push Ophelia away from him. In the scene known as the closet scene we can see Hamlet and Gertrude alone altogether.
However, in Shakespeare different plays women play a variety of roles. Throughout the play Hamlet, Shakespeare demonstrated brutal treatment towards women by the male characters in the play, whether it be verbally or with emotional abuse. Not only were the women manipulated by the male characters, but they were also controlled by their beloved ones. One of the main relationships in which there is great deal of control and manipulation is between Hamlet and Ophelia. Ophelia is the only lady in her family.
He is told he has a mock wife. However, The fact that his 'wife' is the ultimate deception being a boy. Shakespeare constructs the text so that you can guess that it is a boy dressed as a girl from the comments he makes about the suggestive remarks that Sly makes to Page. Sly's wife is illusory as is our communes of the two women. This is also a hint of what they might be seeing in the play that follows, is also in illusory.
But now Ophelia is essentially like a battleground for Hamlet and Polonius. They both utilize her to say what they want to one another, and prove what they want. Both use her to their advantage. Hamlet also uses Ophelia to get the word out that he mad, after seeing Ophelia and acting crazy. Ophelia serves a tool for both Polonius and Hamlet... ... middle of paper ... ...sting of her entire family, while Hamlet is really only trusting of his father, as he certainly does not trust Gertrude or Claudius.
Her husband is also fooled by her charade and is unable to see her evil intent as she cons him into killing the king. Lady Macbeth keeps this facade until the end of the play when her trapped feelings finally drive her mad. Another thing these two characters have in common is that... ... middle of paper ... ...f his encroaching madness, and partly as a ploy to throw off Claudius and his spies. Ophelia was so shocked and confused over Hamlet¹s complete betrayal that she could hardly go on living, and in the end she became so overwhelmed that she committed suicide. Lady Macbeth also affected many characters with her deceitfulness.