Gertrude and Ophelia Essay

Gertrude and Ophelia Essay

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For many years, in the older eras, women had always been categorized as insignificant, and worthless. Because of this, women were forced to conform to the stereotype of depending on men, and were subjected to what the men said. William Shakespeare demonstrates this in the play Hamlet. The women are portrayed to deserve their fate because of their inability to be independent and their ability to be easily influenced. In the play, Shakespeare demonstrates that both Gertrude and Ophelia deserve their fate.
The women deserve their fate because of their inability to be independent. Polonius instructs Ophelia to be aware of her shallow emotions and to display herself as more valuable by not responding to Hamlets every command. When Polonius says,
… these blazes, daughter,
Giving more light than heat, extinct in both,
Even in their promise, as it is a making,
You must not take for fire. From this time, daughter,
Be somewhat scanter of your maiden presence;
Set your entreatments at a higher rate
Than a command to parley. (Shakespeare 1.3.117-123)
He is essentially telling Ophelia how she should be behaving and reacting to her own situations. This is portraying her as a woman who cannot think for herself and is dependant on Polonius. In addition, Polonius’ death is the trigger to Ophelia’s insanity, because she depended upon him a great deal. When Ophelia is told by Polonius to never contact Hamlet again, she obeys Polonius, but Hamlet acts crazy in reaction to her denial. Ophelia says, “No, my good lord; but, as you did command, / I did repel his letters and denied / His actions to me.” (2.1.109-111) By doing everything Polonius tell her to do, she makes matters for herself worse. Ophelia cannot stand up for her...


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...made to her in marriage; and to decline
Upon a wretch, whose natural gifts were poor
To those of mine! (1.5.44-53)
Claudius seduced Gertrude easily because of his ‘power’. Claudius manipulated her and his traits are not of any quality. Gertrude and Ophelia are easily impressionable, and were easily used to others’ advantages, proving their presence invaluable.
It is demonstrated that both Gertrude and Ophelia deserve their fate throughout the play. The women deserve their fate because of their inability to be independent and their ability to be easily influenced. It is important to have independence in all of one’s life, and to be capable of making one’s own choices; Otherwise, many terrible events may occur. Numerous historical events have resulted in women earning their independence. It is a vital characteristic to have, which can help people in many ways.

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