Claudius and Gertrude are sung and spoken to in a blunt fashion by Ophelia, who speaks of chaos, death and women being used by men. The king and Queen attempt to exchange words with her but she replies only along her own line of conversation, not responding directly to them. She leaves thanking Claudius and Gertrude for their good counsel, which deepens her isolation, as aside from instructing Gertrude to mark her, Ophelia is essentially only conversing or reminiscing with herself. In the second part of the scene Ophelia re-renters upon Claudius, Gertrude and Laertes. She is once again singing of her fathers death and is oblivious to Laertes’ grief over her mental state.
What was Gertrude thinking? Did she love Old Hamlet? Or was she in love with Claudius? This paper shall look at the differences between Shakespeare’s Gertrude in Hamlet and Sir Laurence Olivier’s version of Gertrude. Her actions, her tone, and her clothing show a different woman in a comparison of the text and the film.
Throughout The White Devil, Webster presents his leading female character Vittoria as elusive, Vittoria’s absence from the stage for much of the play and often present on stage only due to the fact that she is continuously accused of being a ‘whore’. During scene one Vittoria speaks only two short lines and then exists the scene and is not heard of until her court trail scene. She is often used to create dramatic situations even during her trail scene, where whatever she speaks is re-told even when she recalls a dream she has had, Bracciano boldly states ‘sweetly shall I interpret your dream’. Portraying the fact that she is unable to interpret her own dream, implying that she is incapable compared to the male characters. During her trail scene, she is accused of being a whore and it is at this point in the play that she gains a voice.
There is evidence to support both arguments. It would certainly seem that because of her passivity, she can be seen as a slave through the language she uses such as: “I shall obey my lord.” The height of this is seen in the nunnery scene, where the conversation between Hamlet and Ophelia takes place. She seems not only unemotional, but also obedient, uncaring and machine-like. As she uses language and says stuff like “I think not my lord”. This passivity perhaps provokes an audience to despise her passivity, even though she is being used by two of the antagonists.
Lear, assaulted womanhood and his attitude towards women was revealed in the depth of the curse and what omens he wished upon Goneril. This may be Shakespeare using Lear as a tool to express his own dislike towards women or conversely, show how devastating it is for a parent to have an ungrateful child that turns her sadness into joy. Furthermore, through statement from “Never afflict/That scope” spoken by Goneril may be an indirect reference to the elderly and how they may rave on about senile matters that are of no concern to the younger generation as this is what Goneril thinks of Lear when he is this angry ranting on about cursing Goneril. The bulk of this text is very emotional as it focuses on Lear degenerating Goneril as a female. The mood is very dark and gloomy.
Given the fact that the entirety of the play challenges stereotypes and performativity, Kate’s final speech is called into question. Shakespeare’s language in this passage (4.3.31-35), along with the stage direction of “beats him” (4.3.35) shows that Kate has retained her spirited nature. She calls Grumio a “false, deluding slave.” (4.3.31) A slave is a person who is the legal property of another and is forced to obey them. A docile and submissive person, or one who has been tamed, does not speak to others as though they have authority, hence their submissive nature. During Shakespeare’s time, a woman especially did not speak to a man like that because of the gender hierarchies of the time period.
While Ophelia lives in a society where she is viewed as nothing more than a ‘play-thing’ who must follow her father, brother and King’s every word, Ma lives in a society where she also must follow orders, but in her case the tables turn. Both Steinbeck and Shakespeare compare and contrast the theme of the role of women through female characters. A similarity between the female characters in both texts is that the females themselves have opinions and views that differ from her male counterpoints at times. For example, when Steinbeck’s Pa is implying that the family does not have room for Casy, he asks Ma her opinion, which is: “It ain’t kin we? It’s will we?...As far as ‘kin’, we can’t do nothin’, no go to California or nothin’; but as far as ‘will’, we’ll do what we will […]” (Steinbeck 102).
They were done purposefully, now the question is why>? Why did Shakespeare choose to portray the women in his play Hamlet like this, and why did he have the other characters in the play relate to them as frail, weak, and even as letter humans? The truth is that every writer, when writing will capture a bit- no matter how small- of themselves in their work. There work will be a reflection of their perspectives, of their opinions, and of them. This comes as no surprise, because if you aren't going to write your own ideas, what is the significance of writing at all?
To ensure that people continued to believe this concept the church used this verse from the bible as proof “woman in her greatest perfection was made to serve and obey man.” This belief put women in a state of being mentally isolated from men. Being second-rate citizens meant that few of them received any formal education; because they lacked schooling they became intellectually isolated from anyone whom had received any type of formal education. During this time period women were beaten into submission when they failed to instantly comply with the orders any male relative gave them. Shakespeare wrote about many of these Elizabethan beliefs in his play Othello. The play centralized around the lust for one very beautiful, young girl Desdemona.
“Who weep for the waste of sturdy hips” (line12) is mentioned in “In the Counselor’s Waiting Room” thus showing that the mothers of the two daughters are criticizing the two girls in the poem. Typically, each gender must be attracted to the opposite sex; but if this is challenged by anyone they are censured and become an outcast in society. Evidently, in the poems mentioned above, being a woman and acting out of societal norms causes others to criticize the individual and condemn them for the choices they have made. Moreover, the literary devices and elements within the poems are quite different. Within “The Silence of Women”, Rosenberg’s diction is effective in that she creates an image and