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A Feminist Critique Of Hamlet

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Marlene Serrano

on 7 January 2014

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Transcript of A Feminist Critique Of Hamlet

A Feminist Critique Of

What are the goals of feminist critique?
To examine social, economic, and cultural aspects of literary works, especially those about the role, position, and information of women
To look at literate differently and undermine patriarchal assumptions
by Marlene Serrano
Period 5

Four Central Tenets of Much Feminist Critique
1. Western civilization is patriarchal
Subordinate women to men in cultural domains

2. Prevailing gender norms. are generated
by patriarchy

3. This ideology leads to the conclusion that literature is made for men by men

4. Traditional aesthetic categories and criteria for analyzing literature are infused with masculine assumptions
Critical treatments have been gender-biased

Feminist Critical Questions To Ask
the women, Ophelia and Gertrude are portrayed as subordinate to the men around them and are dependent on them for their social standing, power, and influence.

Although Queen Elizabeth ruled as a singular and independent regent, the men around her still tried to marry her off to a man and assert their dominance.
Hamlet was written during the end of the Elizabethan era (1558–1603) by William Shakespeare. Queen Elizabeth had no son, so the question of who was to be her heir was on the mind of all.
How much does the reputation of women (and also men) in the work showcase the setting it was written in?
Mostly known as Hamlets love interest; not much else there but her role in relation to Hamlet
Follows directions given to her father to distance herself from Hamlet (1.3.36)
Told to protect her chastity, what gives her value (1.3.31)
Marries King Claudius
-either to retain power or is told to
Hamlet repeatedly calls his mother disrespectful names (3.4.41-45)
Mostly known for being loyal to her husband
Men, either husbands or fathers, decided on the freedoms of women
Education revolved around domestic duties
Social status was dependent on husbands
(Kirkland, Pap)
How are relations between men and women presented? What are their roles and what are the consequences?
Women only matter in their relation to the men around them.
Ophelia is Polonius' daughter and Hamlets love interest
Gertrude is King Hamlets widow, King Claudius' wife, and Hamlets mother
Both are dead by the end of the play
The Ermine Portrait (
1585) by Nicholas Hilliard
Ophelia [blue dress] (1905) by John William Waterhouse
Does the author present the work with predominant male and female sensibilities?
, the men and women known their assigned roles:
Hamlets role is to avenge his fathers death
Gertrudes role is to be a loyal wife to King Claudius
How do the facts of the authors life relate to the presentation of men and women? To their relative degrees of power?
The death of Shakespeare's son Hamlet led him to write
and is why the play revolves heavily around death
Shakespeare's main influence is considered to be the era he was living in. His plays were social and politcal commentary.
How do the other works by the author correspond to this one in their depiction of the power relationships between men and women?
Romeo and Juliet
Romeo and Juliet
, Romeo is first in love with Rosaline, but quickly falls out of love with her and replaces her with Juliet. Because Juliet reciprocates his emotions, he, as well as her, believe that they are destined to be together. Romeo kills Tybalt, Juliet's cousin, and his best friend Mercutio is killed by Tybalt. Juliet pretends to die, so Romeo kills himself, which leads to Juliet killing herself.
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