Hamlet: Submissive Women In The Elizabethan Era

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#1 Hamlet portrays how society would perceive a submissive woman in the Elizabethan era. This shows the deception, naivety and sly behaviour women were thought to have. “I have heard of your paintings too, well enough. God hath given you one face, and you make yourself another; you jig, you amble, and you lisp and nickname god’s creatures, make your wantonness your ignorance” (III.i. 143-137) This quote reflects the argument because it is evident that men in the Elizabethan era had a patriarchal attitude which caused them to treat women with no respect. Hamlet was able to insult Ophelia with such harsh language without expecting any consequences for his foul behaviour. Women were seen as sexual tools or a voiceless body, never a…show more content…
This quote occurs before Laertes leaves for a higher education. He advises Ophelia on how a woman should act and how men can act with woman. He set standards between the sexes making it okay for men to act irresponsibly. Ophelia does not try to withstand her brother. Instead she agrees with Laertes and gives up her voice. This picture adequately illustrates Ophelia's situation with Laertes. The visual itself is a collection of beautiful patterns and intricate designs, however, when you glance at the woman (Ophelia) you can see that she is trapped in a confined space. The majority of the picture is blue however the small area Ophelia is standing in consists of various colours which can symbolize what she believes to be true. In Elizabethan society, women did not trust themselves to make logical decisions, thus, it seemed necessary for the male to take charge and dominate. When Ophelia says "you yourself shall keep the key" Ophelia is granting permission to Laertes to take control decisions. In another instance, Ophelia says "I shall obey you my lord" putting the male in a higher position. The message of this scene is to never subsidize your individuality for another and trust your own

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