About Feminism in Hamlet
Ophelia agrees to take Laertes’s advice. She agrees to take his advice because she knows nothing else than to listen a man. She is dependent on men and continues to do whatever they tell her. She saids “this is a good lesson keep, As a watchman to my heart.” (1.3.51) She sees it as he is looking out for her, which he is but it reality he is demanding her to stay away from Hamlet to keep her purity.
Laertes plans out all of Ophelia’s actions for her.
Ophelia has many weak points in the play. Hamlet has noticed this about Ophelia, calling her “frail”. Hamlet mentions in his to be or not to be soliloquy: “The fair Ophelia! Nymph, in thy orisons / Be all my sins remember’d.” (3.1. 103) In Hamlet, the word weak describes the women. It’s a negative insult but the men do not see it that way. “Ophelia does not deal with anything except men’s rules; she does not have alterations thoughts. She does not have alternative voices. She does not know how to decide on her own. ” (Araklik, 2015: 165) She is not powerful nor has a voice to stand up for anything because she is a women. She is unable to build herself because she has no voice. It is against the men for the women to take charge of anything.In Hamlet, women are not free, they have to have a man in charge of them, which Ophelia has Hamlet, Polonius, Laertes, and in some cases King Claudius to control her way of life and thoughts. They determine her expectations in society.
Gertrude is also a victim of being used by the men. She is treated unfair by both her new husband Claudius, and her son, Hamlet. Claudius is a cruel man and does everything he can to get the power he has. Claudius treats his own wife with much disrespect. The reason Gertrude married Claudius right after the loss of her husband, King Hamlet is because she has fallen into a very weak state of mind. She needs a man in her life so she can get told what to do. Without a man she is lost and does not know how to be alone. The ghost of King Hamlet describes Gertrude’s failure to life of her live on her own as:
“Ay, that incestuous, that adulterate beast,
With witchcraft of his wits, with traitorous gifts –
O wicked wit and gifts that have the power
So to seduce!- won to his shameful lust
The will of my most seeming virtuous queen.” (1.5.42-46)
What the ghost was saying, is that Gertrude is in a very weak state of mind and is looking for something to distract her from the remembrance of her deceased husband. Claudius, hungry for his brothers power as king, finds the perfect in. He knows Gertrude is in a weak state of mind and needs a man in her life so he puts himself in the position to take the throne. He tells her that he is in love with her and happiest with her and makes her his wife to get the power. Claudius is taking advantage of Gertrude to get what he wants.
Hamlet takes his anger out on his mother. He lets lose all his feelings about the marriage of his mother and Claudius. He is disgusted by the fact that she married his uncle, her husband’s brother, and considers it as incest. Hamlet can not make out exactly what he is trying to come across to his mother, and yells a whole bunch of nonsense not even in sentences.
“A little month, or ere those shoes were old
With which she followed my poor father’s body,
Like Niobe, all tears- why she, even she
(o, God, a beast, that wants discourse of reason
Would have mourned longer!), married with my
My father’s brother, but no more like my father
Than I to Hercules.” (1.2)
In Hamlet’s soliloquy, he expresses the issues he has against Claudius, who he thinks is the total opposite than is his father, King Hamlet just has how opposite as he is to Hercules. Hamlet is upset with his mother. He feels like she betrayed his father’s memory because it has only been one month since he passed away that she remarried his brother, Claudius. Hamlet thinks that she is weak for needing a man in her life this soon after his passing. Hamlet says to his mother he would much rather see her with his worst enemy then the uncle he strongly dislikes.