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Incest And Sexism Essay

829 words - 4 pages

Incest and Sexism
What role incest and sexism play in Shakespeare’s play Hamlet? This complex play exhibits themes such as incest, sexism, death, revenge, and love. The two that we will be focusing on are incest and sexism. Incest is the “sexual intercourse between closely related persons, or marriage between persons within the degrees of consanguinity or affinity wherein marriage is legally forbidden”. After reading Hamlet we had the opportunity to follow the central character, Hamlet, who was the Prince of Denmark. Throughout the novel other various characters were introduced such as Polonius, Laertes, Gertrude, and Ophelia.
Polonius is the father of Laertes and Ophelia. His contribution ...view middle of the document...

Ophelia believes that her brother is too concerned about her sexuality. The play portrays the intellection that Laertes was a little bit closer to his sister than the average brother. Also, Laertes’s reaction to Ophelia death was the reaction of a husband losing a wife. While at the funeral, Laertes jumped into Ophelia’s grave to hold her. Although a loving and caring mood was being set, it was not the type brother/sister that was being displayed. Along with protecting his sister from the unlawful Hamlet, Laertes tries to protect the family’s reputation. He believes that Hamlet is to out manipulate his daughter and if he doesn’t put an end to it, entire family will be ruined. Other royals will begin to look down the family if the secrets and between Hamlet and Ophelia are ever exposed.
Sexism is “the unfair treatment of people because of their sex; discrimination against women.” After examining the writing style of William Shakespeare, we are able to understand the choice of words used by Hamlet. Hamlet’s vernacular and tone towards woman was completely different his vernacular and tone towards men. This is a result of the intense and angered relationship between Hamlet and his mother, Gertrude. Hamlet addresses his mother with a sense of disgust. The idea that Hamlet was lead to believe that women would and could be controlled by their sexual appetites can be ascertained. As a result from past experience, Hamlet releases a rage of anger and frustration out on Ophelia.

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