Themes of Misogyny in Shakespeare's Hamlet

1019 Words Feb 2nd, 2018 4 Pages
So excellent a king, that was this
Hyperion to a satyr; so loving to my mother
That he might not beteem the winds of heaven
Visit her face too roughly, Heaven and earth,
Must I remember? Why, she (would) hand on him
As if increase of appetite had grown
By what it fed on. And yet, within a month
(Let me not think on’t; frailty, thy name is woman!)”
I.ii. 142-150 During Hamlet’s soliloquy after meeting with King Claudius and his mother, Queen Gertrude, Hamlet expresses his anger at how easily his mother has stopped grieving for his father in so little time, and marry his uncle. He believes that her actions reflect those of all women, thus he says frailty can be defined by women. Through the use of a metaphor, Hamlet says “as if increase of appetite had grown” to compare the lust or need his mother felt like a hunger that inclined her to remarry as quickly as she did. Women are used as a symbol by Hamlet to represent weakness and cowardice. Feminist theory can be applied because a patriarchal society existed during the era that the play was written in. The society was ruled by a male based authority and an existing power structure. In the play, the male based power structure is apparent as Claudius is not questioned for his motives in marrying the queen after the recent death of her husband and his brother, the judgement falls onto the woman. The expectation that a…
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