Examples Of Sexism In Hamlet

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The Sexist Sequences of Shakespeare’s Hamlet The oppression of a group first begins with culture; for culture molds the minds of the populace. Hamlet, a story about the vengeance of Prince Hamlet by William Shakespeare was written during the precarious Elizabethan era. As the play progresses, signs of misogyny surface. The sexism can be connected to the “cult of domesticity” which preached piety, purity, submissiveness, and domesticity to achieve the “True Woman” (Lavender 1). Shakespeare’s representation of Ophelia and Gertrude necessitates an evaluation by the feminist’s critical lens; distinctively the “cult of domesticity” which exposes the misogyny of England due to fears of Elizabeth I’s rule. Shakespeare’s sexism…show more content…
The prominence of Shakespeare’s misogyny is due to what he perceived as the unstable and dangerous reign of Queen Elizabeth I. Mullaney states “Shakespeare’s Hamlet that is to say, to Middleton’s The Revenger’s Tragedy-the various bodies of the queen go a progress…in the popular theater, the very age and body of her time” (Mullaney 313). Shakespeare, due to the instability of the Elizabethan reign, expresses his disgust by personifying Queen Elizabeth I through Queen Gertrude. During the reign of Queen Elizabeth, England faced many crises such as the invasion by the Spanish Armada and question of royal succession. In contrast to the dominating personality of Elizabeth, Shakespeare portrays Gertrude as that of an inept and passive ruler, a mere decoration to the patrician rule of Claudius. The portrayal of Gertrude is to cast the idea of a female ruler to be foolish and harmful to her sovereign nation, an undesirable outcome for the nation. Shakespeare’s portrayal of Queen Gertrude is not only that of an unfit sovereign, but that of a nation-destroying succubus as evident by her weakness for the pleasures of the flesh. On the opposite spectrum, Ophelia is the embodiment of a pious

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