Gertrude's Treatment Of Women In Hamlet

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Shakespeare’s Hamlet follows the story of Prince Hamlet’s descent into madness and revenger after the death of his father. Parts of Hamlet’s madness and need for revenge can be attributed to the women in his life, his mother Gertrude, and lover Ophelia. The women in this story are only interpreted through the eyes of Hamlet and the other men in their lives, belittling them to mere sexual objects. Hamlet does not attribute any other redeeming qualities to Gertrude and Ophelia. Hamlet may view women as only one-sided sexual objects, but it is truly Hamlet and the other male characters who are the one-sided characters, being able only to characterize them as misogynists. After her husband’s death, Gertrude finds love and solitude in her late husband’s brother, Claudius.…show more content…
(Shakespeare 29) Hamlet thinks that Gertrude is lower than an animal because she betrayed Old Hamlet by re-marrying and having sex with another man. This shows how Hamlet only sees his mother as a sexual object; that Gertrude makes her choices based on sexual desire. As the play progresses, Hamlet continually belittles his mother to an object. In Act III, Scene IV, Hamlet insults and screams at his mother, showing her no sign of respect.“What have I done, that thou dar’st wag thy tongue, in noise so rude against me?” (Shakespeare 173). The answer to this question is nothing - Gertrude has done nothing but remarry, yet Hamlet pushes her around demanding that she end any relationship with Claudius. Gertrude is not allowed to make her own choices in Hamlet’s eyes simply because she is just a sexual object that can be manipulated, which Gertrude does become. “O, speak to me no more! These words like daggers enter in my ears. No more, sweet Hamlet!” (175) Gertrude is then actually manipulated by the forceful Hamlet and becomes more cautious of Claudius and also more defiant against him, i.e when she unknowingly drinks from the poisoned cup when Claudius tells her not

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