Hamlet - Ophelia- "Discuss How the Construction of a Character Communicates the Attitudes and Values in Hamlet."

1277 WordsAug 8, 20116 Pages
Literature Essay- Discuss how the construction of a character communicates the attitudes and values in Hamlet. The ideas and attitudes towards women have changed very much during the recent times, in fact it is a very modern idea that a woman is free from the control of the men around her; that she is able to make her own decision about where to work, where to live, whom to marry or even to not marry at all. It is only recent that a woman is considered an equal to the males in the community, that women are strong enough to handle the stresses that a man has to go through. The construction of the character Ophelia from Shakespeare’s Hamlet reveals that she is nothing like the modern woman, instead her character construction communicates…show more content…
We have been shown the depth of Ophelia’s love for Hamlet, so it does not make sense that she would be one to want to spy on him on her own initiative. The impression that we are left with is that women are incapable in denying a man his direct orders; the fact that Ophelia doesn’t even attempt to defy her father, or the king, even on something so important to her as Hamlet encourages the idea that women are there to be manipulated by their male counterpart. For a very long time there has been the opinion that without a man, a woman is nothing- both legally and mentally she is nothing. A woman is far too emotional and weak to be able to live coherently on the Earth without the protection of her male counterpart. Again Ophelia definitely encourages this concept about woman in Hamlet. In scene one, when Ophelia’s father is warning her against Hamlet, to not let him use her, she replies doesn’t know what to think- instead letting her father tell her what to do; and in her case following his orders lead to much despair on her end. “Polonius: Do you believe his tenders as you call them?/ Ophelia: I do not know my lord what I should think. / Polonius: Marry I’ll teach you. Think yourself a baby.” On would think in the ways of love a woman would be much more capable of understanding, and therefore acting out in the most appropriate way; as love is an emotion and the

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