At one point in time, Ophelia was one who Hamlet truly loved and trusted. Ophelia comes and speaks to hamlet to return his gifts from her but Hamlet immediately realizes that something is wrong and finds out that Ophelia is being used by Claudius and Polonius to spy on him to find out the real reason of Hamlet’s facade of madness. After realizing this, Hamlet is incensed and acts as if he is truly insane. Hamlet is clearly hurt because of the fact that Ophelia has been as a pawn in Claudius’ game. The effects of the matter cause him to verbally abuse Ophelia and rejects her love by saying that they will never get married and also degrades women. At this point Hamlet is raged and does not understand how harsh his words can be to a woman, especially a human being in general. In conclusion, the death of Hamlet’s father had looked like as if it has not even affected his mother which he so dearly loved and the one true love he thought he had, seems to him as deceiving and just a pawn for his enemies. These factors continue to diminish the subordinate attitude that Hamlet has towards
As Hamlet says, ?Frailty thy name is woman?, her actions cause Hamlet to curse women all together. In the first Act, Claudius and Gertrude question Hamlet?s depression. They push Hamlet to accept his father?s death and move on with his life. Hamlet hides his feelings about his mother and the king. He should have admitted his hatred for their marriage. While Hamlet is holding back his feelings, he becomes more angered at their attempts to calm him. Gertrude is also aware of Hamlet?s feelings for Ophelia and uses this as an excuse for Hamlet?s madness. Hamlet has plenty of time to confess the cause of his madness and that?s what he should have done. Instead, Hamlet allows his mother to think he is madly in love rather than tell the truth. After Hamlet delivers his play and sees guilt in his uncle, Gertrude sends for Hamlet. Instead of hurting his mother, he insists on her to tell him the truth. It would have been easier to just go ahead and hurt Gertrude. Also, Hamlet should have acted more swiftly on this, then her confession could have taken place earlier in the play. This could save him from a great deal of pain and leave his thoughts for other problems.
Gertrude as well is exploited by men throughout the play. Gertrude is seen as a prize to Claudius, a way for him to succeed to the thrown without having Hamlet take over. Although it is not doubted that he loves her, but he first uses her to get the kingship without question. Claudius has been wooing Gertrude even before the death of the king, which a reason for the “most wicked speed” in which they were married. (Act 1, scene 2. line 156) Gertrude is also used by Polonius, but more so she allows him to spy on her having a discussion with Hamlet. Polonius tells the Queen that Hamlet is coming to her private chambers and that she should have a discussion with him on his lately “unrestrained” acts. She replies to Polonius that she will “warrant” him, and “fear [her] not” for she is on his side. (Act 3 Scene 4 Lines 1-7) Gertrude however is not an unintelligent woman, so a reader would wonder why she would allow herself to be exploited by Claudius. Carolyn G. Heliburn agrees with Gertrude’s intelligence saying that her speeches are “not the mark of a dull and shallow woman.”
Ophelia’s father, Polonius, wishes to keep his family’s honor in tact, and fears that Ophelia’s open regard for Hamlet will diminish his honor. Both Polonius and Laertes, Ophelia’s brother, believe that Ophelia’s preference for Hamlet will only end in disgrace for their family, as Hamlet would never marry her due to her lower social standing, therefore, they counsel her to break off any understanding with Hamlet. As a woman, Ophelia realizes her duty to her father and her brother, and therefore decides to disregard her own feelings about Hamlet and do as her father and brother wish.
[Done in] England” (4.3.66). Gertrude with no control over his decisions agrees to everything Claudius suggests about Hamlet’s exile. Gertrude trusts Claudius which allows him to control her in the actions and decisions he makes. The lack of lines Gertrude has throughout the play proves her trust for Claudius proving that she has nothing against what he decides. Similarly, Ophelia is controlled by Polonius, her father. Polonius controls Ophelia due to immaturity and her ignorance of her relationship with Hamlet. “Affection? pooh! you speak like a green girl, / Unsifted in such perilous circumstance, / Do you believe his tenders, as you call them?” (1.3.101-103). Not only Polonius but Laertes, her brother, constantly advise her to avoid Hamlet because he is just counterfeiting love and his intention is to hurt Ophelia:
In Hamlet, the female characters can be seen as being subservient to men. This goes on to show how Shakespeare, goes against the feminist theory by not creating equality between all the characters. One of the main character’s Ophelia can be seen as being weak and undermined in the play. She spends most of her time following the actions of her father, Polonius and boyfriend, Hamlet, with little to no say in her own opinion on topics. Polonius displays his dominance over Ophelia when he expresses his opinion on her relationship with Hamlet. He informs Ophelia on exactly what her next actions need to be when dealing with Hamlet. He even goes as far as warning her to not go against his wishes because it will “ tender [him] a fool”, showing his superiority over Ophelia’s actions (I . iii. 109). The inequality can also be shown when comparing Laertes’s life with Ophelia's. Laertes is left alone to travel France, while Ophelia is stuck to follow her father's orders. Hamlet also tries to show his
Hamlet also manages to both degrade himself and his uncle in another comparison, saying his uncle was “no more like my father / Than I to Hercules” (1.2.152-3). Though such strong comparisons to romanticized and mythical figures could are partially simple hyperbole, they also underscore some of the insecurity in Hamlet’s character. The value in recognizing this comes as Hamlet descends into his madness, whether real or imaginary, where the reader can see that, even before Hamlet deliberately decides to appear to be “mad” he has certain issues and insecurities with his own feelings. Even more significantly, this passage begins to elaborate on Hamlet’s relationship with his mother. Gertrude represents an interesting dilemma for the deconstructionist critic, as she does not create or involve herself in many conflicts or oppositions. She manages to significantly affect the plot and the subtext of the play while seeming almost insignificant as a character at first glance through the deconstructionist lens. She does not overtly affect events, and often plays the victim of circumstance. This very insignificance creates an issue for Hamlet, who is clearly quite disgusted with her behavior. He vehemently disapproves of the speed of her marriage to Claudius, saying that “a beast, that wants discourse of reason, / Would have mourned longer” (1.2.150-1), but can find no other strong criticism of her other than how fast she remarried. This strikes at the
In William Shakespeare play, the chief protagonist hamlet shows a negativity view towards women in his life. Hamlet consider that his mother and Ophelia have deceived him through their action; Gertrude married only a mother after hamlet father died and Ophelia heeds her father right not to see hamlet despite confessing her love to him. In this way hamlet views this two women as a fragile and too dependent on the man in his lives which makes him say “fragily, thy name is woman (page 271). In a soliloquy in the second scene of Act I, deploring his mother’s indecent marriage, Hamlet says “Frailty, thy name is women!” Most critics have interpreted this statement as are mark toward all the women in general referring for their moral weakness and distrustfulness advocating the fact of Hamlet’s being a misogynist. But it is also not inappropriate to say that, Hamlet, in this statement, does not mean “frailty” for moral weakness or distrustfulness. By “frailty” he can also mean the flaw of being dependence upon men in women. Gertrude is a woman who values status and affection more urgently than moral righteousness and respect. She is extremely dependent upon men in her life. That is why after king Hamlet’s death, when she finds her position insignificant; she quickly gets married to Claudius only to restore her earlier status which she values more
The treatment of women in Hamlet is very troubling. The leading female characters, Queen Gertrude and Ophelia, are pawns or puppets for the men around them. Like chess pieces, they are moved about and influenced by the men they love with little say of their own; in fact, Shakespeare does not even develop their characters.
The qualities Gertrude draws from Hamlet, however, lead her more towards destruction than love in her marriage. Hamlet's characteristics which she adopts - a timidity and weakness - allow her to be not merely corrupted by Claudius, but clearly also controlled. While she undoubtedly shared in a level of mutual love with Hamlet's father
Due to Hamlet’s psychological state, he felt confused and betrayed by his mother. His mother marrying his dead father’s brother opened gates to his madness. To Hamlet’s mind, women represent frailty; they are weak and regard them as an embodiment of weakness. He referred to his mother as a morally and spiritually weak woman as her incestuous inconstancy drove her to remarry immediately after her husband’s death and that she committed a sin. The most notable frailty of Gertrude seems to be that, whether by nature or nurture, she cannot exist without men. He recorded saying that Gertrude, “a little month or ere those shoes were old, with which she followed mo poor father’s body” (1.2.147-148). She needs a man as her guide to her perception
Male characters often treat female characters as if they are a piece of their property just like Polonius treats Ophelia, which is Hamlet’s love interest in the play. Polonius uses Ophelia to get information out of Hamlet. Ophelia never has a say in the decisions Polonius makes. To spy on Hamlet and to see if Hamlet truly loves Ophelia, Polonius and Claudius devise a plan. Polonius never asks Ophelia or gives her the option if she wants to spy on Hamlet. All Polonius comments to Claudius is “At such time I’ll lose my daughter to him,” which is Polonius saying to Claudius that he will send his daughter to get information out of Hamlet and it shows how Polonius treats Ophelia as his property just to seek information about Hamlet (II.ii.154). Along with Polonius and how Ophelia is treated as his property, Hamlet does not treat Ophelia any better. Hamlet treats Ophelia rudely and “treats her as an object” (Arteaga). Hamlet never can talk to Ophelia with respect or treat her more than an object. Ophelia went to Hamlet to give back the items Hamlet gave to her and as she puts her hands out Hamlet begins to say, “No, not I. I never gave you aught,” which is showing how Hamlet is objectifying Ophelia and
William Shakespeare’s play Hamlet is perhaps one of his most intriguing and scandalous pieces of work. One character who is liable for much of this excitement and outrage is Hamlet’s mother, Queen Gertrude. To some readers and critics, Gertrude is conceived as an erratic, superficial and sensual woman. Others discern the Queen as an earnest, intellectual and sagacious woman whose tragic fault is her yearning for sexual satisfaction. Throughout the text, there are several legitimate arguments for both sides, but in the end, Hamlet seems to sum up the Queen’s true persona with the words “Frailty, thy name is woman”. Evidence of Gertrude’s true nature can be found in many instances through out the play such
“Frailty, thy name is woman” (1.2. 150)! This controversial line, followed by several more from the play Hamlet, by William Shakespeare, displays a common view towards women that portrays them as being weak and reliant on men. Throughout the play, two women, Ophelia and Gertrude, are shown to be dependent on the men in their lives. They both take on a senselessly obedient state of mind. Even though they share this common characteristic, Ophelia and Gertrude are very different characters. Ophelia is a beautiful, young woman who is the love interest of the protagonist, Hamlet. Ophelia obeys her father, Polonius, without hesitation and has very little experience with making her own decisions. Gertrude was the wife of Old Hamlet, and is now the wife of Claudius, the current king and Old Hamlet’s brother. Gertrude desires affection and status more than she cares about the truth of what happened to her late husband. The men in this play have no sense of how they treat the females. This patriarchal way of life was prominent in the late 16th century and early 17th century which was about the time that Hamlet was written and performed. This relationship between the genders is interconnected within the play and with society during that particular time period. The characters of Ophelia and Gertrude were solid examples of how women were viewed as inferior to men during this time in history.
When one thinks of art and religion, one may think of gender role defiance and non-conformism. While this may be generally true in present times, it was not always this way. Women and men have had distinctly different places in society, these places often being unequal. Generally most well-known works throughout the ages have adhered to and represented what society regarded as the proper gender roles for men and women. This is represented in three works of art which will be discussed: Hamlet by William Shakespeare, The Courtier: Book 3 by Baldassare Castiglione, and Luncheon on the Grass by Eduoard Manet. While these three forms of art come from different times and are of different mediums, they are connected in that they follow and represent the gender roles of their time.