I believe that both Gertrude and Ophelia have a great deal of importance in Shakespeare’s play ‘Hamlet’. The portrayal of women in this play is obnoxiously negative. Women in the play are treated as second class people in such a patriarchal society. The female characters in the play indulge the feeling of being objectified. They are portrayed as extremely malleable and are seen to be pathetically subservient. In this essay, I will discuss why I think Gertrude and Ophelia are important characters.
Gertrude is seen by Claudius’ side in the play. She married her brother-in-law soon after her first husband was killed. I think her role embodies the theme of corruption. Her marriage to ...view middle of the document...
“O cursed spite, that ever I was born to put it right”
The way Gertrude acts results in Hamlet’s misogyny towards women. “Frailty, thy name is woman” Hamlet begins loathing every woman he sees. Sadly, his misogyny affects his girlfriend Ophelia leaving Gertrude responsible for Ophelia’s treatment. “Get thee to a nunnery!” Gertrude allows Hamlet to continuously belittle Ophelia because she’s oblivious to the reality outside her marriage to Claudius.
I do think that Gertrude’s mis-treatment and disrespect towards Hamlet is overly important. It has several results leaving her a key character in the play.
Ophelia is undoubtedly the most tragic victim in the play. Her innocence contrasts the entire play because it is full of corruption. Head over heels in love with Hamlet turns out to be used as a weapon.
Ophelia has a small role in the play. However, her existence plays with the central character’s emotions. Hamlet and Ophelia are in love but in Hamlet’s eyes the corruption of Denmark prevents them to be together in my opinion. Ophelia is forbidden to have any contact with Hamlet. This devastates her and when she sees him he says “I love you not” Ophelia and Hamlet’s emotions were manipulated throughout the play. They toyed with each other and denied their love until it was too late.
Ophelia’s mental breakdown and suicide broke the audience’s hearts when she drowned. Ophelia was took advantage of by all the men in her life; Laertes, Polonius and Hamlet. Polonius used Ophelia as “bait” to unearth...