Character Analysis Of Ophelia And Gertude In Shakespeare´S Hamlet

1347 words - 5 pages

William Shakespeare also known as the English nationalist poet is widely considered the greatest dramatist of all time. Shakespeare spent the majority of his life writing poems that captured the “complete range of human emotion and conflict” (“Biography of William Shakespeare”). Throughout the world, people have performed William Shakespeare’s plays, poems, and sonnets for over four hundred years. Still to this day, Shakespeare’s plays have become very well known. One of William Shakespeare's most famous plays is, Hamlet. In Hamlet, the women, Ophelia and Gertrude were portrayed as property, non- controlling, inferior, and solely dependent on men throughout the play.
Ophelia is an obedient daughter who is dependent on her father, Polonius for guidance. Ophelia and Hamlet were deeply in love, until his mother, Gertrude married his uncle, Claudius, the day of his father's funeral. After seeing this, Hamlet believes that all women, including his love, Ophelia are weak and only wanted sex from men. Hamlet gets even more upset when he finds out that Ophelia is becoming her father's puppet because she starts to follow Polonius's orders without having any say in any of her own situations. For instance, her father did not want her marrying Hamlet because he wanted all the power. If Ophelia was to marry Hamlet, she then would gain more power than her father. This is exactly what he did not want, that is why Polonius, told her she could no longer see him. Without any hesitation, Ophelia agreed to his arrangement. When Ophelia goes back to her father, to ask for advice on Hamlet, he responds in his own liking by saying, “You do not understand yourself so clearly/ As it behooves my daughter and your honour" (1.3.105-6). According to Woolf, “Polonius insults Ophelia's ability to comprehend the situation, but, more importantly, his diction reveals his sense of possession and his concern for social appearances to serve his own interests. Although he is speaking to Ophelia, he refers to her as "my daughter," claiming ownership and dominance over her”. (1) Polonius never expressed his concerns for Ophelia. He always knew she would obey his rules no matter what. She lived her life through her father’s shadow. She was never taught to think on her own, but rather letting her father think for her. For instance, “Ophelia tells her father during their first conversation about Hamlet. Polonius responds from a position of authority over Ophelia, asserting his power as the decision-maker between the two of them” (Woolf 3)
“Marry, I'll teach you: think yourself a baby;
That you have ta'en these tenders for true pay,
Which are not sterling. Tender yourself more dearly;
Or--not to crack the wind of the poor phrase,
Running it thus--you'll tender me a fool” (1.3.114-18).
This just shows that Ophelia is nothing more to her father, than just value. She has no control over her life. Everything she says and does is her father's decision. She does not question her father’s...

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