Roles Of Women And The Prominent Religion Essay

Roles Of Women And The Prominent Religion Essay

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Throughout the play Hamlet written by William Shakespeare in the early 1600’s, the relationship between the protagonist Hamlet and a girl named Ophelia is judged and ridiculed by Ophelia’s father Polonius, who is King Claudius’ counselor. The way that Polonius advises Ophelia and judges Hamlet’s intentions would be analysed in similar and different ways by a father from Shakespearean times compared to a father from modern times. Because Christianity was the prominent religion in the early 1600’s this would lead to a father from that era strongly believing in concepts such as sex after marriage. He would also strongly encourage the traditional values and expectations of a woman. However a father from modern times would be open to many different accepted religions and not just the mainstream idea of sex after marriage. He also would have a more open minded view of women in society. Despite the differences in the roles of women and the prominent religion presented by the different eras, both fathers would would not want to think about their innocent daughter having sex and would want to protect her from any harm.
In scene one act three, Ophelia asks Polonius what to do about Hamlet’s recent revelation of affection for her. Polonius’ response is “in few, Ophelia, do not believe his vows, for they are brokers” (line 135-136). He then continues on to advise her not to speak to Hamlet anymore. Here Polonius sees Hamlet’s “holy vows of heaven” as just ways to get Ophelia to have sex with him rather than actual true feelings for his daughter (line 123). Furthermore he views those vows as disguised enticements into a sinful relationship that is against the beliefs of Christianity. Polonius tells Ophelia not to speak to Hamlet a...


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... of a woman during that time because her opinion of who she wanted to marry was not considered as important. Rather, what was considered important, was the father’s gain. However a father from modern times would not see it as important to marry his daughter into royalty. This father would be more concerned with his daughter’s well being because the current culture has evolved to a society that is more aware and accepting of women’s opinions compared to the early 1600 era.
Due to changing times, a father from the early 1600’s would most likely agree with the majority of Polonius’ decisions whereas a father from modern times would disagree. Although each father may have to think about Polonius’ decisions before they agree or disagree both of them would reach the conclusion that they will always be concerned with their daughter’s well being before anything else.

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