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Transcript of Hamlet
Hamlet & Ophelia
By William Shakespeare
To be...Or not to be...
Gertrude is complacent, inferior, and weak.
Also portrayed as as selfish, sexual being.
Boyfriend & Girlfriend
Throughout time, women have been treated as a subordinate gender due to ideologies existing in patriarchal run societies. Hamlet in particular is an example of this notion. As he lives in a male dominated society, his power over women is asserted through his relationships with Ophelia and Gertrude. His vile choice of words and attitude towards the two, demonstrates that he views women as weak and illogical beings. As a result, one can conclude that Shakespeare wrote Hamlet in this manner in order to represent the current perception of women and their societal roles within the Elizabethan era.
Mother & Son Relationship
Clear conflict between the two
Hamlet believes that he has more power over his mother, the Queen
Hamlet becomes very aggressive with Ophelia.
Challenges her state of mind
"Come, come, and sit you down, you shall not budge./
You go not till I set you up a glass..."(3.4.17)
"Have you eyes? /
Could you on this fair mountain leave to feed /
and batten on this moor? Ha, have you eyes?" (3.4.65)
Finds the Queen weak
"A murderer and a villain, /
A slave that is not twentieth part the tithe /
Of your precedent lord, a vice of king's...(3.4.97)
And Gertrude's reaction? Nothing!
Throughout their relationship, Hamlet degrades Ophelia by constantly insulting her although she is his girlfriend .
"She is a strumpet..." (2.2.233-234)
"Go thy ways to a nunnery." (3.1.131)
Alas, the turning point in their relationship is when Hamlet takes advantage of Ophelia's helplessness and asserts his physical dominance towards Ophelia.
Ultimately, Hamlet finally ends his relationship with Ophelia.
"I did love you once." (3.1.116-117)
"for virtue cannot so inocullate our old stock but we shall relish of it. I loved you not." (3.1.119-121)
Similar portrayal of women in other Shakesperean tragedies such as Romeo and Juliet, as well as Macbeth.
"Thou wilt fall backward when thou comest to age" (1.3.56).
"Here in Verona, ladies of esteem, / Are already made mothers. By my count, / I was your mother much upon these years" (1.3.70-72).
Come, you spirits that tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here, / Come to my woman's breasts, and take my milk for gall" (1.5.47-55).
"I was the more deceived." (3.1.122)
Shakespeare intended for societal norms of the Elizabethan era to be reflected and thoroughly represented within his most famous works.
But... All in all, Hamlet still truly loves Ophelia
"I loved Ophelia." (5.1.255)
Shakespeare, William, and John Crowther. No Fear Shakespeare: Hamlet. New York: SparkNotes,
William Shakespeare's Hamlet. Dir. Kenneth Branagh. By Kenneth Branagh and Patrick Doyle.
Prod. David Barron. Perf. Kenneth Branagh, Julie Christie, and Derek Jacobi. Columbia Pictures, 1996.
Shakespeare, William, and Roma Gill. Hamlet. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2007. Print.
Shakespeare, William. "The Tragedy of Macbeth." Ed. Barbara Mowat and Paul Werstine. New York: Simon and Schuster Paperbacks, 2003
Shakespeare, William. "The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet." Ed. Barbara Mowat and Paul Werstine. New York: Simon and Schuster Paperbacks, 2003
Ophelia is obviously portrayed as a weak character and also inferior to Hamlet.
Comparing Hamlet to Ophelia :
Hamlets father was murdered by his uncle Claudius.
Claudius marries his mother, Queen Gertrude.
Hamlet seen and talked to a ghost
Hamlet, her boyfriend, dumps her.
"God hath given you one face and you make yourselves another" (3.1.142-143)
Hamlet kills her father.
My interpretation of what Shakespeare's intention were that he was not trying to be anti-feminist but it was solely due to the upbringing and masculine environment that Shakespeare was raised in.
In Shakespeare's era they did not respect women.
In the twenty-first century we interpret his literature as feminist by the misogynistic way he talks about women. However, in the Elizabethan Age it was seen as the norm for women to be objectified then to be considered as a human-being.