Hamlet, By William Shakespeare

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In William Shakespeare’s play Hamlet, the protagonist suffers from struggles with major characters, especially with the women in his life. While reading the play Hamlet, Hamlet appears to be a disillusioned man. Throughout the play, Shakespeare has only casted two females: Gertrude and Ophelia. Gertrude is defined to be incestuous, naïve and cold-hearted. On the other side, Ophelia is characterized to be ignorant, innocent and fearful. After the quick marriage of his mother and evil uncle, Hamlet’s views on women has completely changed and he begins to define all women to be weak yet manipulative. During the play, we see that Gertrude places a significant influence on Hamlet and his understandings. We can see that as the audience, Hamlet has a hatred for women. Shakespeare often reflects the English Renaissance stereotypes of women and their various roles and responsibilities in society. His understandings on how women were treated and considered during the Elizabethan era (Jane Dall, 2000) are combined through the eyes of Hamlet, nonetheless opposite views are created by Gertrude and Ophelia, towards the end of the play, changing the perceptions created by the audience.

Shakespeare’s Hamlet shows a unique mother and son relationship between Gertrude and Hamlet. Stemming from the death of King Hamlet, Hamlet’s depiction of his mother signals a weird relationship amongst the two, but Gertrude still considers Hamlet as her son. After the marriage of Gertrude and Claudius,

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