The Portrayal Of Women During The Most Famous Works, Hamlet, By William Shakespeare

1885 Words May 26th, 2016 8 Pages
William Shakespeare has written many major tragedies, most of which highlight negative

stereotypes of women. In one of his most famous works, Hamlet, Shakespeare portrays the

women in the play as being weak, dependent and subordinate to men. Throughout the play, it

seems as though these women have no actual standing in society. They are shamed for

embracing their sexuality and their opinions are not respected or even taken into consideration.

Gertrude’s character is limited by guilt and she is made to feel apologetic for her sexuality

throughout the play, solely because she is a woman and such actions are not condoned. Ophelia’s

life in this play is dictated by men. She is seen as incapable of making her own decisions and

treated as though she needs her father and brother to guide her through life. The two women are

presented in such ways that demean their character and only focus on them as beings meant to

please men and do as they are told. Although many improvements have occurred regarding

women’s rights and the portrayal of women, the belief that men are superior to women in all

aspects of life is still evident throughout Shakespeare's play Hamlet in the depiction of Gertrude

and Ophelia.

Gertrude is one of only two female characters in Hamlet. Throughout the play, she is

questioned and ridiculed for her actions, primarily because she is a woman. It seems as though

the immediate cause for Hamlet's negative attitude towards women in general is due…
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