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To what extent do you consider the female roles in the play to be subservient to the male roles Women are represented in this tragedy but on first analysis seem to be drowned in the mist of the deceitful power-game played out by a number of male figures who in one way or another contribute to the on-going plot of murder treachery revenge and betrayal The title of the play within a play the mouse-trap could apply to whole of Hamlet Is it set in a very political patriarchal society which is dominated by the authoritive action of the male characters Hamlet is widely seen as a play where the female characters have small and seemingly unimportant roles which portray them as extremely weak passive and subservient The reader can only question if Shakespeare really invites the audience to perceive this apparent difference with which the gender roles have been depicted Shakespeare lived and wrote in a time when one successful and powerful person a woman known as Elizabeth 1 ruled England Previously a lot of Shakespearian critics have underestimated the role of women in Hamlet who appear to play little part in the storyline as they make no direct action However on deeper analysis we see how Shakespeare makes the women in this play set up a system of cause and effect yet take no overt action or make decisions They have small parts but are they at the heart of Hamlets problem and partly the cause of the corruption Could they be part of the reason why something rotten may be going in Denmark shown by the fearful guards guarding the castle in Act1 Uncertainty is one of the main themes throughout the play and Gertrudes character poses a lot more questions then answers For example was she having an affair before the death of Old King Hamlet Did she know Claudius had killed her husband The critic
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