Despite Ophelia’s weak will, the male characters respond dramatically to her actions, proving that women indeed have a large impact in Hamlet. Her obedience is actually her downfall, because it allows the male characters to control and use her in their schemes. Ophelia’s betrayal ends up putting Hamlet over the edge, motivating him in his quest for revenge. Ophelia is one of the two women in the play. As the daughter of Polonius, she only speaks in the company of several men, or directly to her brother or father. Since we never see her interactions with women, she suppresses her own thoughts in order to please her superiors. Yet however weak and dependent her character is on the surface, Ophelia is a cornerstone to the play’s progression. One way that her manipulation is key to Hamlet’s plot is when Polonius orders her “in plain terms, from this time forth/ Have you so slander any moment leisure/As to give words or talk with the Lord Hamlet,” (1.3.131-133). She complies with his wishes, agreeing to return any tokens of Hamlet’s love to him, verify t...
... middle of paper ...
...course, ultimately infuriates and intensifies his urge for revenge. Because of Gertrude’s refusal to acknowledge her sins, Hamlet becomes even more personally motivated to kill Claudius for revenge. Queen Gertrude, though ignorant, has a huge impact on the play because her betrayal and abandonment motivates Hamlet to get revenge.
When writing Hamlet, Shakespeare created a complex play that relies on the roles of two important women to aid the progression of the plot. 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.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- William Shakespeare incorporates many themes and ideas into his play, Hamlet. Of the multiple important ideas, one potentially overlooked is the role of women. Only two of the characters in the play are female. Their lines are scarce, but hold huge importance in relation to the progression and plot of the play. Ophelia, the implied lover of Prince Hamlet, and Queen Gertrude, his mother, do not appear significant, but their actions and characters allow for other events to unfold. Gertrude and Ophelia are manipulated and belittled.... [tags: integral, female, roles, women]
1159 words (3.3 pages)
- The Role of Ophelia in William Shakespeare's Hamlet Although Ophelia is not a main character in the revenge tragedy 'Hamlet' her dramatic purpose is vital to the play. It emphasizes the poisoned body politic and its affects on the innocent. The role of women in the sixteenth century is to be obedient and dutiful, the only way to accomplish this was to be passive. Women in the sixteenth century were meant to be obedient to their fathers, for they were their property until such a time came when she was married, it would then be her husband to whom her duties lied.... [tags: Papers Shakespeare Essays]
1327 words (3.8 pages)
- In many stories, the concept of a secondary character role is often overlooked and deemed irreverent. However, in the play Hamlet by William Shakespeare and the novel Fifth Business by Robertson Davies, the secondary characters Horatio and Dunstan Ramsay respectively both play a crucial role in the fulfillment of “Fifth Business”. According to Davies, Fifth Business are "those roles which, being neither those of Hero nor Heroine, Confidante nor Villain, but which were nonetheless essential to bring about the Recognition or the denouement” (Davies, Preface).... [tags: fifth business, dunstan ramsay]
1342 words (3.8 pages)
- Ophelias Role in Hamlet by William Shakespeare In Hamlet, one of the many things Shakespeare shows us is how the world can change a person, how certain circumstances can knock a person so out of proportion with who they used to be that they take on a new persona, a new identity. One such character is Ophelia, a young, innocent girl, who, throughout the play is torn between father and lover, accused of not being as innocent as she seems, and finally driven to insanity. In the end, she is driven to suicide, an innocent victim of the world around her.... [tags: Papers]
1236 words (3.5 pages)
- Role Reversal in William Shakespeare's Hamlet Throughout William Shakespeare's play Hamlet, the audience attaches to the young protagonist Hamlet. Throughout the play, his wit, and his underdog situation, compel the audience to root for him, and thus wishing evil upon his foe, Claudius. As the play progresses, Claudius seems weasel-like as he rubs the situation in Hamlet's face, and indulges in decadent rituals while enjoying his scandalous throne. In act three, scene three, however, the humble side of Claudius is visible for the first time.... [tags: Papers]
378 words (1.1 pages)
- The Role of Women in Hamlet in William Shakespeare's Play Gertrude and Ophelia, the only two women in Hamlet, reflect the general status of women in Elizabethan Times. Women were suppressed by the males in their lives (brothers, fathers, and partners) and were always inferior. Ophelia and Gertrude have little or no power due to restricted legal, social and economic rights that were found in Elizabethan society. The male characters in Hamlet reflect this sexist view point, represented by Hamlet’s judgement that “frailty, thy name is woman”.... [tags: Papers Females Shakespeare Oppression]
2037 words (5.8 pages)
- To be, or not to be, that is the question. To live, or not to live…that is the “question” in this play, Hamlet which is written by William Shakespeare, that plays a big role, such as when there seemed to be a tension between Hamlet and Horatio at the beginning of the play, especially towards the end where a strong friendship that occurred is tested. Also, finding out and being able to trust what we now call a “bff” (best friend forever) is easy for this current generation, but for Hamlet, it was not as easy.... [tags: Hamlet, William Shakespeare, Death, Friendship]
1249 words (3.6 pages)
- Significance of the Ghost to William Shakespeare's Hamlet In Shakespeare's 'Hamlet', the ghost plays a key role in influencing the destinies of the other characters. The ghost is important to the play as it symbolizes both fate and catalyses the plot. It also brings the play into the revenge tragedy genre, which allows foreshadowing to occur and helps the audience, both Elizabethan and contemporary to better understand the play and appreciate it. The late King Hamlet is forced to roam the earth as he was murdered before he could confess to his sins, having to remain in purgatory till his sins are washed from him and he is able to enter into heaven.... [tags: William Shakespeare Hamlet]
1576 words (4.5 pages)
- The Damage caused by Gertrude Shakespeare repeatedly tackles sexuality within The Tragedy of Hamlet. Sexuality is important when establishing the reasons for Hamlet’s desires, mood swings, and his constant struggle with gender identity because sexuality is in the center of it all. For example, highlighted in act 3.4 Hamlet argues with his mother, Gertrude, over the content of the performance that Hamlet directed. Hamlet outright accuses his mother of being a whore and of being deceitful for marry her husband’s brother.... [tags: Marriage, Sexual intercourse, Gender, Gender role]
981 words (2.8 pages)
- Our personal response to William Shakespeare’s play ‘Hamlet’ (1603) is informed by our knowledge of the composer’s contextual and political milieu which aids to highlight aspects of the human condition which permeate not only Elizabethan England but also that within our modern context. Shakespeare utilises a variety of dramatic and language techniques, to delve deeply into elements of human nature, thus through the play’s textual integrity, Shakespeare is able to strike a chord with contemporary audiences as we too consider the perilous nature of human attributes such as deception, corruption, and mortality.... [tags: Hamlet, Prince Hamlet, William Shakespeare]
1197 words (3.4 pages)