Femininity In Hamlet

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Shakespeare conveys women to be subjected by views of purity and dependency on men in order to reflect the continuous struggle women go through in order to be treated equally in our everyday society. After her husband dies, Gertrude, Hamlet’s mother, immediately marries her brother-in law, Claudius. Moving quickly on from man to man without much mourning for her dead husband, Gertrude is dependent on the men in her life and can only live her life through another. She never questions Claudius’s reason for marrying her and feels no guilt towards her marriage. Hamlet criticizes her marriage by saying, “Heaven and earth, Must I remember? Why, she would hang 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!,”(1.2.142-146) He is disgusted by her tainted relationship with Claudius that eats away her purity as a female, even accusing her, “you have my father much offended.”(3.4.12-13) When she witnesses Hamlet killing Polonius, she immediately betrays her son and goes to Claudius to report on …show more content…
Ophelia, on the other hand, is the opposite of Gertrude, a pure and gentle maiden who is brought up to become the perfect wife for Hamlet. Laertes warns Ophelia of Hamlet, “If with too credent ear you list his songs Or lose your heart, or your chaste treasure open To his unmaster'd importunity. Fear it, Ophelia; fear it, my dear sister, And keep you in the rear of your affection, Out of the shot and danger of desire,”(1.3.27-39) He wants her to retain her purity in order to stay desirable as a woman and not be deflowered. It does not matter what type of personality a woman has or the accomplishments she has achieved throughout her life, women are only valued by their virginity, and once they lose that quality, their value as a women greatly decreases in the eyes of

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