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The Females In The Play Are So Much The Passive Victims That It Is Only Possible To Pity Them, Not To Understand Them; To What Extent Do You Agree. Essay

  • Submitted by: souvid
  • on April 12, 2008
  • Category: English
  • Length: 1,169 words

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Below is an essay on "The Females In The Play Are So Much The Passive Victims That It Is Only Possible To Pity Them, Not To Understand Them; To What Extent Do You Agree." from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

During the course of this play the only two female characters that appear are Gertrude and Ophelia. Often we find that both are left deliberately open and sketchy in their portrayal leading some critics to argue that Shakespeare does not feel the need to concentrate on these characters in a play based mainly around male tragedy and corruption, while leading others to believe that their ambivalent nature is a precise and natural quality captured purposefully through their actions.
For Gertrude a vital scene is that of Act 3 Scene 4. In summary, this scene is where Hamlet visits the Queen, privately, kills Polonius and confronts Gertrude with her sins. What becomes clear from this scene is that Hamlet’s most important relationship with a woman is with his mother, not Ophelia; it is from her sins that he decides to condemn all womankind- ‘frailty, thy name is woman’ (1.2.146). The violent out-of-control imagery of this scene conveys his disgust at the thought of her sinning. Hamlet goes so far as to compare Gertrude’s actions to murder- ‘Almost as bad, good mother,/ As kill a king and marry his brother.’, and uses physical force to emphasise this, as we gather when he says ‘Come, come and sit you down, you shall not budge.’ As Hamlet continues we see his language becoming more and more vindictive and purposefully hurtful towards Gertrude. His careful use of antitheses make his points all the more emphatic, comparing idealised visions of love associated with the earlier marriage- ‘rose’ and juxtaposing them with dark words such as ‘blister’. In one of the following speeches we can observe that Gertrude has no bearing on her son’s emotions. Hamlet, quite certainly, implies the breaking of vows (‘contraction plucks’), but when Gertrude asks him ‘What act?’ (51), he does not answer directly,   ‘adultery’, but charges her with inconstancy, immoderate sexual desire and a lack of an sense of value in exchanging king Hamlet for Claudius. He does not pursue the charge of...

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MLA Citation

"The Females In The Play Are So Much The Passive Victims That It Is Only Possible To Pity Them, Not To Understand Them; To What Extent Do You Agree.". Anti Essays. 23 Jun. 2018

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The Females In The Play Are So Much The Passive Victims That It Is Only Possible To Pity Them, Not To Understand Them; To What Extent Do You Agree.. Anti Essays. Retrieved June 23, 2018, from the World Wide Web: https://www.antiessays.com/free-essays/Females-Play-So-Much-Passive-Victims-6382.html