Women's Role in Literature Essay

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Women's Role in Literature

In many works of Literature women play a controversial role, one in which their actions are the cause of conflict in many situations. There are more often then not two reasons for this. One reason why the female character is always caught in the center of the conflict is ignorance, such is the case Shakespeare's "Hamlet; Prince of Denmark" with the character Queen Gertrude as an example. The second reason why women are the cause of the central conflict are that in many instances they are trying to make a stand against society by defying what society holds to be the norm. An example of this would be Sophocles' "Antigone". In either case, the woman character is cause of the central conflict within the piece
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Through their actions, both of these women brought upon much stress upon not only themselves but members of their family as well, allowing for the central conflicts to take place.
In "Hamlet, Prince of Denmark", it is Queen Gertrude's marriage to Claudius that causes Hamlet to act as though he has gone crazy. His father's death was hard enough on him, especially due to the fact that his Uncle Claudius was his father's murderer. His mother's hasty marriage to him only causes Hamlet to speculate about his mother's involvement in his father's death. Shakespeare does not make it entirely clear as to whether or not Gertrude took part in the elder Hamlet's death, nor does he make certain as to whether or not she took part in any extramarital affairs with Claudius prior to the king's death. It is this uncertainty that drives Hamlet to the brink of insanity. Hamlet is unsure as to whether or not he should hold his mother responsible for his father's death, and this causes him to act "mad" towards the others in the court, especially his lover Ophelia. It is the ghost of the elder Hamlet that tells his son not to harm his mother, that she is innocent of his murder. Hamlet listens to his father's ghost but still resents his mother's remarriage, seeing it as an insult to his father. As a result Hamlet remains in his "mad" state, and in the classical tragic ending, all…