Gertrude's Treatment Of Women In Hamlet

Decent Essays
In the play Hamlet, author William Shakespeare points out a few differences between the men and women of this time. They were treated very differently based on their gender. This goes to show that men are favored more than women. Almost all of the women in Hamlet are either disrespected or taken advantage of by men. The women in Hamlet may be disrespected and denied many privileges, but they still worked their hardest to earn more equality with men. Besides Gertrude and Ophelia, the women in Hamlet are not respected nearly a much as the men are. In fact, Ophelia is not respected very much either, so Gertrude is the only woman anywhere close to being as respected as men. Since Gertrude is the Queen of Denmark, the citizens of Denmark respected…show more content…
One of the most important roles in the play is being the Queen of Denmark. At this time, Hamlet’s mother, Gertrude, occupied this special position as the Queen of Denmark. She was first married to the deceased Hamlet, and then she married Claudius, the King of Denmark and Hamlet’s uncle. By marrying Claudius, she gave him the power and freedom to do what he pleased. At first, he used her to his advantage to gain control over the country, and she was only a pawn in his plan. Consequently, he fell in love with her, and she became a big part of his world. Another role women could have is serving or waiting on the higher class like Gertrude and Claudius. Since this includes Gertrude, that means that even though the women are serving people, they are at least serving someone of the same gender and not just another man. On the other hand, Ophelia’s role in the play is to assist Hamlet in his journey to madness. When Hamlet and Ophelia were talking in act three scene one, Ophelia said “My lord?” because she was confused and a little surprised (3.1.104). Hamlet was acting rather aggressive and Ophelia was just going along with it. She was letting him yell at her and accuse her of lies that were not true. Hamlet accuses Ophelia of lying about the mementos by saying “No, not I. I never gave you aught” (3.1.95-96). He lies and says that he never gave the book to her when really he did give it to her. This is not the first time he took advantage of Ophelia. He has taken advantage of her by sexually harassing her and asking if he could “lie on [her] lap” (3.2.115). This shows that that Hamlet liked the idea of being with Ophelia, but wants it his way. These roles all have a pretty big impact on the play itself, and the characters in the
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