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How Does Ophelia Affect The Status Of Women In Hamlet

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William Shakespeare's Hamlet is a revenge tragedy which concentrates essentially on Hamlet’s struggle about avenging his father’s death. Throughout the play, Ophelia is one of only two leading females,who is constantly manipulated by her father, Polonius, her brother, Laertes and Hamlet. Like most of the traditional women in Shakespeare's plays, she is born with an beautiful look and has a kind femininity. However, this type of female characters obviously forecast the unexpected outcome in Ophelia's life. Her love for Hamlet and her devotion to her family creates conflicts and leads to the greatest tragedy in Hamlet.
Shakespeare portrays Ophelia as an innocent woman, who is easily affected and shaped by those around her. The principles of her father and her brother have a significant influence on her. At the beginning of the play, Ophelia is attractive and virtuous;
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Therefore, the image of Ophelia should be examined to reflect the situation of women in the seventeenth century. Ophelia is described as a weak female. Mostly, she says "yes" to everyone, including her brother, her father, and Hamlet. However, the describe of her inner mind are unknown. It is not difficult to find that the feudal society models Ophelia the most. She is willing to become conservative and weak in order to follow the stereotypical ethics in feudal Europe. She considers her father and brother as the leaders in her whole life, as such, she gives up the initiative to pursue her own happiness. In fact, Ophelia loves Hamlet deeply, and she thinks that all of her romantic expectations are perfectly satisfied by Hamlet. Whereas, when facing with the family pressure, Ophelia is craven. She chooses to obey her father's instruction that stays away from Hamlet. When her father had doubted the honor of Hamlet’s purposes, Ophelia could only respond “I do not know, my lord, what I should think” (III,
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