- Join over 1.2 million students every month
- Accelerate your learning by 29%
- Unlimited access for just £4.99 per month
Examine how Shakespeare explores the role of women in Hamlet. What might the response of a modern audience be to this aspect of the play?
The first 200 words of this essay...
AS English Literature Coursework: Examine how Shakespeare explores the role of women in Hamlet. What might the response of a modern audience be to this aspect of the play?
Gertrude and Ophelia, the only two women in Hamlet, reflect the general status of women in Elizabethan Times. Women were suppressed by the males in their lives (brothers, fathers, and partners) and were always inferior. Ophelia and Gertrude have little or no power due to restricted legal, social and economic rights that were found in Elizabethan society. The male characters in Hamlet reflect this sexist view point, represented by Hamlet's judgement that "frailty, thy name is woman". This view was not uncommon in Shakespeare's time and heavily influenced Shakespeare to present women the way he does in Hamlet. In a critical essay, Judith Cook1 noted that in many of Shakespeare's plays major women characters 'die because of direct association with the fate of a tragic hero'. This could be seen as Shakespeare trying to convey women's fate being a 'by-product' of the fate of men- men are superior.
On the other hand, Ophelia is crucial in understanding Hamlet as a character and gives an insight into different
Found what you're looking for?
- Start learning 29% faster today
- Over 150,000 essays available
- Just £4.99 a month
Not the one? We have 100's more
Hamlet (view all)
- Higher English 2003 - Hamlet - Turning Point in Drama
- Is Hamlet's madness feigned or real?
- The inner play, the Murder of Gonzago, which Hamlet nickname...
- Explore how Shakespeare examines the theme of revenge in Ham...
- How does Shakespeare present ideas of disorder, corruption a...
- Hamlet's Procrastination : a Study on his Failure to Act
- An Analysis of Hamlets Philosophy of Life and Death in Willi...
- Show how Shakespeare presents a disordered and corrupt state...
- The tragedy of Hamlet is that as a character of an Elizabeth...
- Why does Hamlet still matter?
""Jackie Shanahan. Maths. A Level Student.
""Gemma Haysman. Chemistry, Physics, Biology, Maths. GCSE Student.