Women 's Role During Society Has Changed Dramatically Throughout History

1350 Words6 Pages
Women in H amlet
Women’s role in society has changed significantly throughout history. For the most part, women have been treated as second­class citizens in comparison to men. It was not until 1920 that women were allowed to vote in the United States, and many controversies carry on today regarding women’s rights. Similarly, women in the works of William Shakespeare were usually placed in secondary roles. In Shakespeare’s H amlet, w omen are represented by just two characters: Gertrude and Ophelia. The way that these two are perceived by men demonstrates men’s sexist opinion of all women. Because women live in such a sexist environment in H amlet, they are led to develop emotional weakness, obedience to men, and they allow men to use them as tools of manipulation. These flaws are ultimately the causes of the women’s deaths, and they prove women to seem inferior to men.
As a result of their misogynistic surroundings, women in H amlet are extremely weak in comparison to men. B ecause she is a woman, Gertrude lets her weakness control her life. Rather than doing the morally righteous thing, mourning her husband’s death, she is unable to resist putting her own emotional needs first. The queen’s absence of restraint when marrying Claudius, her late husband’s brother, displays a lack of self­control that disgusts Hamlet: “O God, a beast that wants a discourse of reason would have mourned longer... O, most wicked speed to post with such dexterity and incestuous sheets!” (1. 2.

More about Women 's Role During Society Has Changed Dramatically Throughout History

Get Access