Frailty, Thy Name Is Woman

Topics: Characters in Hamlet, Hamlet, Gertrude Pages: 4 (1287 words) Published: January 3, 2013
In Hamlet, there are strong prejudices about the two women in the play, Ophelia and Gertrude. Hamlet has condemned all womankind, based only on the actions of these two women, stating that the female gender is weak. Gertrude is actually the inspiration of one of the most significative lines of the play “Frailty, thy name is woman!” (I, ii, 146).Hamlet refers to “frailty” as a synonym of weakness, or it can be as well referred to someone who can be “easily damaged”. Due to his situation, he has all the right to be mad at his mother and Ophelia. Both, Gertrude and Ophelia are frail, but in different ways. As the play indicates in the first scene, Gertrude is not someone trustworthy. The audience is introduced to Gertrude when she is begging Hamlet to stay in Denmark, and not to come back where he was studying. She is beside the new king of Denmark. As Hamlet says in his first soliloquy: Within a month,

Ere yet the salt of most unrighteous tears
Had left the flushing in her galled eyes,
She married.” (I, ii, 153-56)
Not even two months has passed by since the death of his father Old Hamlet, and Gertrude has got married again. Hamlet’s speech is packed with disappointment and sadness. Gertrude has weakened her bonds with young Hamlet, and even her credibility, by marring the brother of her dead husband. The thing that really hurts Hamlet, is the short period of time that took Gertrude to get over his father’s death. He believes that “a beast that wants discourse of reason would have mourned longer!”(I, ii, 150-151). Keeping in mind that animals are living beings that lack of emotions, and act by instinct instead, Hamlet thinks that even they are more sensitive and have deeper emotions than Gertrude. This lines show for the first time the theory of Hamlet, which states that women easily yield to temptations and even more easily are conquered by their passions. Gertrude is characterized by being morally weak. Contrary to the queen, Ophelia is emotionally weak. In...
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