Female Characters in "Hamlet" and "The Revenger's Tragedy" Comparison Essay by Theslider

Female Characters in "Hamlet" and "The Revenger's Tragedy"
A look at how female characters are presented in William Shakespeare's "Hamlet" compared to Thomas Middleton's "The Revenger's Tragedy"
# 147255 | 2,106 words | 5 sources | MLA | 2008 | GB
Published on Mar 06, 2011 in Literature (English) , English (Analysis) , Shakespeare (Hamlet)

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This paper discusses how Shakespeare's presentation of women must be commended as he managed to portray various aspects of what makes a woman, solely in two female characters Gertrude and Ophelia. It looks at how a socially advanced view of women is found in Gertrude's intelligence, sexuality and cunning, and a diversion from traditional Elizabethan values in Ophelia's passionate insanity. This is contrasted with "The Revenger's Tragedy" in which the 'Black Camp' style portrays women as either completely pure or tragically immoral and appears incapable of presenting women as a combination of the two polarised characteristics.

From the Paper:

"On the other hand, though Hamlet may appear to respect and love his mother, his soliloquy presents Gertrude in a completely different light. His soliloquy shows his true opinion of his mother, and, in this, parallels can be drawn to Vendice's negative views of his own mother. The line "Hyperion to a satyr; so loving to my mother," refers to Hamlet's indignant opinion that Gertrude has transferred her love from the late King Hamlet, a God-like man, to Claudius, a beast. Also, the implications for Greek mythology would suggest that, just as a satyr is obsessed with sex so is Claudius. Therefore, he is simply using Gertrude to satisfy his lust, implying she is just a sexual object, an unusual opinion for her son to have, however. Both Hamlet and Vendice reveal a strong sense of disgust at their mothers' actions which could be viewed as hypocritical as neither of the protagonists' characters are free from moral blemishes.

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Bachelard, Gaston 'L'Eau et les reves: Essai sur l'Imaination' Paris 1942
  • Bamber, Linda 'Comic Women, Tragic Men: A Study of Gender and Genre in Shakespeare' Stanford University Press (1982)
  • Edwards, Lee 'The Labors of Psyche.' Critical Inquiry 6 (1979)
  • Lacan, Jacques 'Desire and the interpretation of desire within Hamlet' Baltimore (1982)
  • Leverenz, David 'The Woman in Hamlet: An Interpersonal View' Signs 4 (1978)

Cite this Comparison Essay:

APA Format

Female Characters in "Hamlet" and "The Revenger's Tragedy" (2011, March 06) Retrieved January 22, 2020, from https://www.academon.com/comparison-essay/female-characters-in-hamlet-and-the-revenger-tragedy-147255/

MLA Format

"Female Characters in "Hamlet" and "The Revenger's Tragedy"" 06 March 2011. Web. 22 January. 2020. <https://www.academon.com/comparison-essay/female-characters-in-hamlet-and-the-revenger-tragedy-147255/>