Hamlet from a Feminist Perspective Essay

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Shakespeare’s Hamlet, shows strong prejudice against woman especially with such characters of Ophelia and Gertrude. Shakespeare created an interesting character with Gertrude; he created a character that sits in the middle of all the conflict and appears to not partake in much of it. However Gertrude does seem intent in defusing it at every possible chance she receives. Gertrude is a central figure in the play. She appears a great deal but doesn’t say much – implying mystery and creating an interesting uncertainty in the audience. Hamlet spends a lot of time dwelling on her marriage to Claudius and Shakespeare leaves many questions unanswered with Gertrude such as did she have an affair with Claudius behind old hamlets back? Why does she …show more content…
However her behaviour could be read in a different way and Gertrude could be a very intelligent and clever woman. Feminism has altered our perception of sex and gender; however we are still affected by sexism and gender stereotypes even today. The problematic area that occurs with the feminist premise is that women are equal to men in many areas such as intelligence but not in others such as aggression and strength. This also adds to our acknowledgement of Gertrude's guilt. Patricia Pearson confronts this directly "awkward paradox in feminist argument": if we concede that women are ambitious, like men, and possess a will to power as men do, then we need to concede that women, like men, are capable of injuring others who thwart them. We cannot insist on the strength and competence of women in all the traditional masculine arenas yet continue to exonerate ourselves from the consequences of power by arguing that, where the course of it runs more darkly, we are actually powerless. (Pearson,1992:32) She states "aggression is not innately masculine, but that evidence lies within the eye of the beholder. As long as patriarchs and feminists alike covet the notion that women are gentle, they will not look or the facts that dispute it" (11). Therefore as long as Gertrude appears to act meek and mild then she will be seen as the ’weak’ initial character that you

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