Hamlet, By William Shakespeare

1003 WordsOct 25, 20155 Pages
In Shakespeare’s play Hamlet, women also remain within a confined space of their chastity that is dictated by men. Claudius’ manipulation of Gertrude defines her submissive character as a woman. The family in Ophelia’s life command her actions due to viewing the purpose of her existence to be innocent. Ophelia is also driven to madness at the mercy of Hamlet, taking her own life. Shakespeare uses the few women in Hamlet, who are portrayed as sinful and weak-willed by being manipulated by men, to further the theme of misogyny. Gertrude cannot help being seduced by Claudius, and is exploited by him. After Gertrude gets married to Claudius just one month after her previous husband’s death, Hamlet expresses his disdain of Gertrude’s actions, stating "Frailty, thy name is woman" (Shakespeare l.ii.146). Hamlet’s comprehension of Gertrude builds from her relationship with a man. Being unable to understand her quick marriage, he concludes that because she is a woman, it is weakness that leads them to commit such sins. Quickly re-marrying is an action that arises due to weak morality. At the same time, after Hamlet refrains from killing Claudius, Polonius tells Gertrude to rebuke Hamlet for his insane behaviour, and she obeys. Instead, however, it is Hamlet that shames Gertrude. Hamlet berates Gertrude about her horrible sexual desires, saying “Nay but to live/In the rank sweat of an enseamѐd bed,/ Stewed in corruption, honeying and making love/ Over the nasty sty” (III.iv.91-94).

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