Women in Hamlet/Gow

771 Words4 Pages
The Roles of Women in Hamlet and The Grapes of Wrath Imagine living in a society where one’s opinion is the lowest and one faces persecution by disobeying set standards. These types of rules are similar to those set in societies like the ones written about in Hamlet and The Grapes of Wrath. In William Shakespeare's tragic play, Hamlet, as well as in John Steinbeck’s classic novel, The Grapes of Wrath, the theme of the role of women is explored. In these respective texts we are introduced to Ophelia, from Hamlet, and Ma, from The Grapes of Wrath, who each are subjected to living in male-dominated worlds. 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). Firstly, Ma uses repetition of the word “will” to continue to push the idea that the family must make a choice about what choices and paths it “will” make and choose to take. Also, the diction used with the phrase “we can’t do nothin’” is used to show how the family has no more strategic choices to make, only personal or moral choices, at this point. Another example of this similarity is when Laertes tells Ophelia what she should do, and she replies, “Do not as some
Open Document