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Word Count: 587
Hamlet Role of Women For many years in the past women played a small role socially economically and politically As a result of this many works in literature were reflective of this smaller role of women In Elizabethan theaters small boys dressed and played the roles of women In contrast to this trend in Shakespeares Hamlet the women in the play are driving factors for the actions of many other characters Both Gertrude Hamlets mother and Ophelia Hamlets love affected many of the decisions and actions done by Hamlet Gertrude influenced Hamlet significantly throughout the course of the play Hamlet was very angered by his mothers remarriage A few months after his fathers death Gertrude married Claudius Hamlets uncle He was driven mad when his fathers ghost appeared to him and revealed that Claudius was responsible for the death of Old Hamlet Hamlet even termed the marriage as incest Hamlets fury is displayed when he throws his mother on the bed and says Frailty thy name is woman Act Scene Line This shows his extent of anger because he makes a generalization that all women are weak As a result of his mothers actions Hamlet strives to seek revenge against Claudius for the death of his father In order to marry Gertrude Claudius kills his brother Therefore Gertrude is the driving factor for the whole setup of the play Another significant female character is Ophelia Hamlets love Hamlets quest for revenge interferes with his relationship with Ophelia There is much evidence to show that Hamlet loved her a great deal but his pretense of madness drove her to her death Ophelia drowned not knowing what was happening to her This can be deduced by the fact that she flowed down the river singing and happy when in truth she was heartbroken Ophelia was very much afraid when she saw Hamlet with his doublet all unbraced No hat
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