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Hamlet Characters Essay, Research Paper

In the play Hamlet Gertrude and Ophelia are portrayed as weak characters. The

men in their lives have complete control over them. These women obviously do not

have a mind of their own. If they listened to themselves, they would have more

control of their lives. Ophelia is one of those women who is a lost cause to

society. She makes women look helpless and that we can be easily manipulated.

Hamlet basically used Ophelia as merely a toy to play with. She was never

treated as a human being only as an object. Hamlet told Ophelia that he "I

loved you not. (1097)" He made her a weak individual by saying

"Frailty thy name is women. (1062)" This quote made Ophelia looks like

she could never hold her own ground. Whenever Polonius needed her, she was

always at his becking call. She has a tendency to not be true to her man Hamlet.

Since she was under the control of her father, he convinced her to find out

information from Hamlet. Hamlet: Ha, ha! Are you honest? Ophelia: My lord?

Hamlet: Are you fair? Ophelia: What means your lordship? Hamlet: That if you be

honest and fair, your honesty should admit no discourse to your beauty (1097).

Hamlet was on to her in this discussion he knew that she was lying. He just

wanted to her feel like the weaker one. He also wanted to shoe his Uncle and

Polonius that he knew what was up. Ophelia sells hamlet out to follow the orders

of her father. Since Ophelia has no true identity to herself, all she merely can

be is a pawn on a chessboard. Gertrude is one of those women that knows exactly

what is going and never says anything. She definitely knows how and who killed

her husband but, thinks it is a great idea to keep her mouth shut. Gertrude had

the nerve to marry her husband’s brother two months after he died. In a way that

portrays that she never really loved the king. Hamlet: Mother, you have my

father much offended. Queen: Come, come, you answer with an idle tongue. Hamlet:

Go, go, you question with a wicked tongue. Queen: Why, how now, Hamlet! Hamlet:

What’s the matter now? Queen: Have you forgot me? Hamlet: No, by the rood, not

so: You are the queen, your husband’s brother’s wife; And,–would it were not

so!?you are my mother(1097) . In this discussion Hamlet is telling his mom

that he disapproves of her marriage. He also tells her that she is not paying

any attention to him. Gertrude has a hard time standing up for herself and her

son. The king has such control over her that it seems like she never has her own

opinion. She always agrees with Claudius and never speaks out about any issues

that is happening in the castle. Gertrude is a spineless waif, she is a nobody

but at the same time she is a someone to her people. It is like she is a paradox

to her identity. She never knows what identity to portray to her husband or to

her people. Gertrude now begins to see her epiphany. By Hamlet’s yelling and

screaming Gertrude finally understood why Hamlet was so upset. Queen: O Hamlet,

speak no more: Thou turn’st mine eyes into my very soul; And there I see such

black and grained spots as will not leave there tinct. Hamlet: Nay, but to live

In the rank sweat of an enseamed bed, Stew’d in corruption, honeying and making

love over the nasty sty,- Queen: O, speak to me nomore; These words like daggers

enter in mine ears; No, more sweet Hamlet(1113-14). In this play the female

heroine has a way of making women look weak and helpless. To women of today this

play would be extremely insulting to the female mind. In Hamlet women have been

viewed as frail subordinate creature. As the reader this play sends a

contemptuous message to women.

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