Ophelia's Treatment Of Women In Hamlet

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The women in Hamlet play an important role because they represent the stereotypical behavior and image that women in society have. As seen through Gertrude and Ophelia, women are seen as weak, submissive, and greatly dependent on men. Hamlet criticizes women for being to dependent on men and fascinated by the idea of marriage and true love, even telling Ophelia to “go thee to a nunnery!” (3.1.) The idea that women also use forms of trickery is also seen in Hamlet. Hamlet mentions how “God has given you one face and you make yourself another,” (3.1) referring to makeup products that women use to attempt to deceive and seduce men with their looks. Hamlet’s dismay with women’s use of makeup also indicates a preference, perhaps in the Shakespearean era, for natural beauty rather than artificial perfection.…show more content…
After Polonius’ lecture on love and the deceitful nature of men, he tells Ophelia to stop interacting with Hamlet and she replies, “I shall obey, my lord.” (1.3.) Ophelia easily disregarded any feelings she may have had for Hamlet, simply because her father told her to do so. Polonius and Laertes serve as her mentors, while Hamlet served as her affectionate lover before he went mad. However, with Polonius dead, Laertes abroad, and Hamlet mad, Ophelia no longer has anyone to rely on and eventually goes mad and commits suicide. Ophelia’s dependence on others, as well as her inability to think for herself is what ultimately leads to her downfall and
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