Since centuries ago the issue of gender balance has always been controversial to talk about. This is show cased in different areas of our lives (Cristina, 76). Gender equality has tried to be achieved for a long time without any much success, as men are often viewed to be of more superiority compared to their female counterparts. In this sense women have always strived to find a significant place in society, in all spheres of life be it political, career wise especially those linked to the male gender and not be resigned to the lower ranked positions that end up demeaning them (Bamber, 125). This paper will discuss the treatment of the female characters and how it affects their social standing in the whole play Hamlet as well as other aspects surrounding them.
There are different aspects that need consideration in relation to psycho analysis of the play Hamlet written by William Shakespeare (Pace and Jane, 46). In the play queen Gertrude standing seems not to be of any importance or significance. This is illustrated by the fact that after the kings death she is quickly remarried to the kings brother Claudius who is too ambitious and thirsty for power he quickly resumes the role of the dead king Hamlet.
We can observe that the queen may have blindly followed the footsteps of the newly crowned king Claudius after he may have confessed his love for her. She is not given enough time to mourn her beloved king and communicate to her family. When prince Hamlet comes home for his fathers funeral and finds that his mother the queen is remarried, he the prince did not think beyond that she the queen and his uncle Claudius could be behind the kings death.
Claudius manipulatively took the chance after murdering his brother the king to quickly get close to the queen and convince her to get married to him so as to keep the kingdom intact. This manipulation clearly indicates how gullible women can be when we are emotionally down (Cristina, 73). Claudius saw the opportunity to be king by taking the place of his brother and was also driven by his sexual appetite of wanting to have the queen as well. Queen Gertrude did not question Claudius intentions as she was blinded by the love he showed her, and thought that he was genuinely after her heart and happiness.
Queen Gertrude deeply loves king Hamlet but is remarried to Claudius this shows how weak she is and shallow when it comes to emotional stability. Claudius took advantage of the fact that the king is dead to manipulate Queen Gertrude to marry him. This in itself is a clear indication that women are viewed of not much importance (Bamber, 111) and would seek affection any way possible even if it means having to marry the enemy as seen in the case of Queen Gertrude and Claudius.
Women are also looked at as being more concerned with their social status than moral rectitude and the truth (Cristina, 83). This is exemplified when Queen Gertrude quickly settles for getting married to the kings brother Claudius who is made king despite Prince Hamlet being next in line of being the king.
The Queen saw an opportunity that she could not let pass her as she foresaw may be she would lose her position as the queen of Denmark resigning her to lesser position in society and social status. Women are also viewed as lose mannered. It is show cased when prince Hamlet comes home from the University and find her mother remarried to his uncle within weeks of his fathers death. Prince Hamlet is disgusted by her mothers sexuality and opts to seek revenge for his fathers death the king not exempting his mother in the revenging plot.
Love is genuinely explored (Pace and Jane, 43) and seen by the women in the play Hamlet. It is seen from the Queen when she was still married to the fallen king as she stood by him until his death. She was sincerely in love with King Hamlet without the knowledge of the plot to murder him by his brother. In this sense this is what lands her on the wrong side of her son, prince Hamlet as he is not convinced that the queen truly loved the king who is now deceased. Queen Gertrude is lured into remarriage by Claudius after he confessed of his true love for her, she fell for it and eventually married her retaining her position as the queen of Denmark. Ophelia, Poloniuss daughter with whom prince Hamlet is in love with is another character in the play show casing the effects of love. She is young and beautiful and innocent, she is also in love with the prince and this is what makes her lapse into madness and eventual death.
Women are viewed as lesser compared to men (Cristina, 78). Too much dependence on men by women in decision making and ways of how to behave. For instance the queen easily gives into the advances of Claudius and accepts to be married to him despite the recent death of her husband the king in the hands of the brother Claudius. On the other hand Ophelia is very obedient to her father Polonius as well as her brother Laertes and often follows whatever they tell her to do. This is evident when Ophelia gives in to the demands of her father to spy on Hamlet.
The genders in the play get to affect the understanding and reading concept (Pace and Jane, 45). For instance when we first encounter the main character who is male, prince Hamlet there is the gender study that critically analyzes him to find out more in relation to the readings (Bamber, 101). The male characters make the reader have an evaluation in the way they look at their roles. Prince hamlet is viewed very vengeful especially after his life at school had to be interrupted with the sad news of his fathers passing on and him having doubts with the cause of his death.
The women in the play are viewed as frail with not much to do in terms of power. Queen Gertrude gets married to the kings brother shows she has no powers without a king on the throne. Ophelia too the maiden with whom prince Hamlet is in love with for a long time, shows weakness when she depends on her father and brother to show her how to behave.
Bacchilega, Cristina. Postmodern fairy tales: Gender and narrative strategies. University of Pennsylvania press, 2010
Bamber, Linda. Comic women, tragic men: study of gender and genre in Shakespeare. Stanford university press, 1982
Pace, Barbara G. and Jane S. Townsend. Gender roles: listening to classroom talk about literary characters. The English journal 88.3 (1999): 43-49
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