The Portrayal of Women in "Hamlet" Analytical Essay

The Portrayal of Women in "Hamlet"
This paper is an in-depth examination of the character Ophelia, in the play "Hamlet."
# 4955 | 1,010 words | 0 sources | MLA | 2001 | US
Published on Feb 11, 2003 in Drama and Theater (English) , English (Analysis) , Shakespeare (Hamlet)

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This paper examines Shakespeare's portrayal of the female characters, Gertrude and Ophelia in his play, "Hamlet." The author shows how the portrayal of these women as weak and frail individuals is a theme that Shakespeare carries throughout the entire play. Several scenes are used to demonstrate how the flaws in these women's characters were the catalyst for many of the problems they faced and as a result, they were treated poorly by the men in their lives.

From the Paper:

"Because of Ophelia's lack of self-confidence, she becomes a target for abuse from Hamlet. Although it is apparent to the audience that she is the epitome of an honest woman, Hamlet sees her as "a dubious whore," (Act III, Scene II) Due to his lack of trust in females, Hamlet doesn't want to listen to anything Ophelia has to say. Because Ophelia is so dependant on the men in her life and lacks any identity of her own, she is completely torn between making everyone happy. As she states in Act III, Scene II, "I think nothing, my lord," she has been hurt so badly that she doesn't consider her thoughts to be important. When all three men in her life are gone, she feels completely helpless, therefore, when Hamlet says; "frailty, thy name is women" he is proven to be correct."

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