Preview
Click here for more Hamlet Essays
Preview

Essay about The Role Of Women in Hamlet

:: 3 Works Cited
Length: 1076 words (3.1 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Purple      
Open Document
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

The mindset of the unequal genders in the past is thought to have influenced the way playwright William Shakespeare portrayed females in his plays. Shakespeare exemplified this in his revenge tragedy Hamlet, written in 1601 with one of the most significant characters, Gertrude. She is central to the plot due to her relationship with the main character, Hamlet, being his mother. However, not only is she the mother to the tragic hero Hamlet, she is also widow to his laid father, King Hamlet Senior, and also newly wed to Hamlets uncle, Claudius. In this tragic play, we witness not only the downfall of women of the play in general, but specifically the falling out of Gertrude as a mother to Hamlet, as a wife to the new King Claudius, and as a woman herself.

Gertrude is the Queen of Denmark and has experienced significant life changes in the last few months. She buries her husband and has remarried her brother in law. This rapid transition to a new marriage does not bode well on her son, Hamlet. Hamlet discusses his distaste in this situation and reflects on this as he tries to overcome the grief of losing his father. Of course it does not sit well with grieving Hamlet that his mothers new marriage has created a lust-filled environment, and that Gertrude has portrayed herself as a very sexual character. At the beginning of the she play she also continuously takes Claudius’ side over Hamlets. An excerpt from Rebecca Smith’s A Heart Cleft in Twain: The Dilemma of Shakespeare’s Gertrude analyzes Hamlet’s first soliloquy in the first act where he voices his disgust for his mother and his shame for her and women in general. In Rebecca’s passage, she states that “Hamlet's violent emotions toward his mother are obvious from his first ...


... middle of paper ...


...her in order to obtain his wife (Gertrude) as well as the crown to the kingdom. William depicts the females in the play less than positively, and as a result, lead to their own demise. Through the play, Shakespeare illustrates the fallout Queen Gertrude creates for herself as a mother, a wife, and a woman herself through the sacrifice of her own happiness and wellbeing.


Works Cited

Bierman, David. “Women In Hamlet.” Frailty, Thy Name Is Woman. UCSC. 2004.


Shakespeare, William. Hamlet. Don Mills, ON: Oxford UP, 2011

Smith, Rebecca. The Woman’s Part: Feminist Criticism of Shakespeare. Champaign, IL: U of Illinois P, 1983




Click the button above to view the complete essay, speech, term paper, or research paper








This essay is 100% guaranteed.


Title Length Color Rating  
Free Hamlet Essays: Role of Women in Hamlet - Hamlet  Role of Women For many years in the past women played a small role socially, economically, and politically. As a result of this many works in literature were reflective of this diminutive role of women. In Elizabethan theatres small boys dressed and played the roles of women. In contrast to this trend, in Shakespeare's Hamlet the women in the play are driving factors for the actions of many other characters. Both Gertrude, Hamlet's mother, and Ophelia, Hamlet's love, affected many of the decisions and actions done by Hamlet....   [tags: GCSE Coursework Shakespeare Hamlet] 612 words
(1.7 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Role of Women in William Shakespeare's Hamlet Essay - William Shakespeare incorporates many themes and ideas into his play, Hamlet. Of the multiple important ideas, one potentially overlooked is the role of women. Only two of the characters in the play are female. Their lines are scarce, but hold huge importance in relation to the progression and plot of the play. Ophelia, the implied lover of Prince Hamlet, and Queen Gertrude, his mother, do not appear significant, but their actions and characters allow for other events to unfold. Gertrude and Ophelia are manipulated and belittled....   [tags: integral, female, roles, women] 1159 words
(3.3 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Essay on Changing Role of Women in Hamlet by Shakespeare - The role of women has dramatically changed through the ages. Women have gone from being viewed as inferior, always standing in the shadows of men to being able to share the light and stand beside them as equals. It has been a hard battle in which many fought and lost but eventually found the path to equality. During the sixteenth century, women were primarily used as housemaids and mothers; they tended to the work men were above. In the play, Hamlet, by William Shakespeare, Ophelia is no exception to the social order....   [tags: ophelia, social hierarchy, inferior] 585 words
(1.7 pages)
Good Essays [preview]
Hamlet- The Role Of Women Essay - 	 	Today women have many rights. We can vote, work, and even voice our own opinions. In the past women were seen as mothers and housekeepers, always taught to respect, listen, and serve there husbands or the man of the house. In those days this was considered normal, therefore women had no choice but to obey and do as they were told. In Hamlet, Shakespeare portrays a similar relationship between women and men. He allows men to hold the higher position in the causing, them to treat women as lesser people and believed that women should listen to them and do as they were told....   [tags: essays research papers] 1123 words
(3.2 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay on The Role of Women in Hamlet in William Shakespeare's Play - The Role of Women in Hamlet in William Shakespeare's Play Gertrude and Ophelia, the only two women in Hamlet, reflect the general status of women in Elizabethan Times. Women were suppressed by the males in their lives (brothers, fathers, and partners) and were always inferior. Ophelia and Gertrude have little or no power due to restricted legal, social and economic rights that were found in Elizabethan society. The male characters in Hamlet reflect this sexist view point, represented by Hamlet’s judgement that “frailty, thy name is woman”....   [tags: Papers Females Shakespeare Oppression] 2037 words
(5.8 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Essay on Hamlet Needs Horatio and Ophelia - A person cannot truly exist without those people around him, just as a play may not be successful without its supporting characters. Horatio and Ophelia are often disregarded as "supporting actors" within the play. They spend very little time onstage, and when they are their roles seem trivial; however, their true purpose is much greater. The characters of Horatio and Ophelia have two very different functions in the play. Horatio is used as a foil for Hamlet, the person to whom Hamlet can discuss his course of action and act like his true self....   [tags: Hamlet, Shakespeare ] 1339 words
(3.8 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay on Portrayal of Women in Shakespeare's Hamlet - Portrayal of Women in Shakespeare's Hamlet   Shakespeare was possibly the first writer to portray women as strong, crafty, and intelligent. However, he has still received criticism from feminists about his representation of women. Some have even accused him of misogyny. There are only two female characters in the play Hamlet - Gertrude, Hamlet's mother and Ophelia, daughter of Polonius. Any debate based upon gender roles must therefore focus upon these two characters. Shakespeare portrays Gertrude as a woman of power and intelligence - she was Queen for a considerable amount of time - we can safely assume at least 30 years - and she is asked advice on matters by King Claudius - "Do you t...   [tags: Essays on Shakespeare Hamlet]
:: 1 Works Cited
1229 words
(3.5 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay about Women in Shakespeare’s Hamlet - Women in Shakespeare’s Hamlet Hamlet is one of Shakespeare’s most famous plays. In this essay I will look at Hamlets perception of women in general but particularly Gertrude and Ophelia. I will also look at the historical presentation of women, comparing Hamlets time to today and seeing if the symbolic role that the females characters have is related to the period. Also I will look at Hamlets madness, whether it was real or not and also whether women could be the cause of it. Finally I will look at a possible ‘Oedipus complex’ in Hamlet....   [tags: Shakespeare Hamlet Females Essays] 1162 words
(3.3 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Hamlet's Relationships with Women in Hamlet by William Shakespeare Essay - Hamlet's Relationships with Women in Hamlet by William Shakespeare When reading Hamlet it becomes clear right from the beginning that Hamlet has a deep relationship with his mother, Gertrude, because he loves and respects her so much. In the opening scene we can see Hamlet and Gertrude engaged in tender, loving behaviour. But as the play develops we see this relationship suffer some great dents. Gertrude?s role in Hamlet is to show us how Hamlets insanity develops, her actions are a big part of what drives Hamlet mad....   [tags: Papers William Shakespeare Hamlet Essays]
:: 1 Works Cited
691 words
(2 pages)
Good Essays [preview]
Hamlet's Women Essay - In William Shakespeare's Hamlet, Hamlet spews extremely harsh words against his mother Gertrude and his love, Ophelia. Some people may claim that these venomous statements mean that he is misogynistic, but, in fact, Hamlet's anger towards Gertrude and Ophelia stems not from their sex but from their betrayal. Throughout the play, Hamlet viciously attacks more than just the women; he has contempt for every person that betrays him and his father. After he recognizes the magnitude of Claudius' deceptions, Hamlet describes Claudius as a "Bloody, bawdy villain....   [tags: European Literature] 684 words
(2 pages)
Better Essays [preview]