William Shakespear, Hamlet , Act 1 sc. 2 L. 145-146
Women, in the dictionary defines them as adult female human beings having characteristics such as courtesy, kindness, gentle, sweet, understandable and so on. Women are considered the opposite sex of men and in the old times as slaves of men but unfortunately the world seem to realize how important women can really always competing with men at high levels and gained independence and rights to many things nowadays. This essay topic, Frailty thy name is woman 1, asks us to look at Hamlet s view of the women of Denmark and decide how far we can agree with his view in women and where he thinks all women should go or belong to. This quote is spoken be Hamlet after the ceremony of king and queen s marriage where he talks about how right after his father died, she quickly marries his uncle, this thought provokes him to say Frailty thy name is woman which is the sprout at first in Hamlet s mind concerning women but yet later it grows into what we see as Hamlet s view of Gertrude and Ophelia as prostitutes. To make this essay more interesting, we will say that we agree with Hamlet s view of Gertrude and Ophelia to the point where we think all women have inside them a little urge to tempt and seduce men into committing sins.We will also look onto some characteristics of women and compare them to Gertrude and Ophelia or women in general and see if these characteristics fall into Hamlet s view of women.
We will start with Gertrude, she is a character of weakness, intelligence, and a lack of depth within herself. The queen was not a bad-hearted woman, not at all the woman to think little of murder. But she had a soft animal nature and was very dull and very shallow. She loved to be happy… the belief at the bottom of her heart was that the world is a place constructed simply that people may be happy in it in a good-humoured sensual fashion. 2 Looking at this we can see that Gertrude is a girl trapped in a woman s body. Old Hamlet playing as the ghost talks to hamlet and says, From me, whose love was of that dignity that it went hand in hand even with the vow I made to her in marriage, and to decline upon a wretch whose natural gifts were poor to those of mine. 3. As we see in this quote Old Hamlet thinks that Gertrude was never in love with him and
the second he died she quickly decided to marry Claudius and all within two months after Old Hamlet s death. As we see here not all women are like that but there are some and if you women are reading this then compare yourself to Gertrude and recognize where you will be heading.
Now for Ophelia, that s a different story. She is beautiful, compassionate, loving, a kind, intelligent, young woman. Although she has all those characteristics, she has a weakness, she is very shallow somewhat like Gertrude but shallow in the way that she has a lack of experience with men, partly because she hasn t lost her virginity and partly because she s weak. In act 3 sc. 1 we see Hamlet let out his madness against Ophelia. He asks her if she s honest and fair just like an ideal women is and he goes on saying, That if you be honest and fair, your honesty should admit no discourse to your beauty. 4 This is true because Ophelia uses her beauty as an advantage which is wrong of her and to some of you women out there who try their best to make us commit sins. Hamlet thinks that if she is using her beauty to an advantage than she should go to a nunnery. He thinks that women in general turn wise men into monsters which is true because men constantly have to make women happy in order to maintain a stable relationship with them.
Throughout the play, Hamlet s view of Gertrude and Ophelia changes it only started because to keep everyone distracted by making everyone think he s mad. So in other words he practically used people to his advantage to hide his true motives. In act 2 sc. 2 Polonius is talking to Hamlet
to try to see what is the cause of his madness and Hamlet asks Polonius if he has a daughter and Polonius says yes he does. Hamlet then says, Let her not walk in the sun, conception is a blessing, but as your daughter may conceive, friend, look to it. 5 Polonius is puzzled by this but Hamlet again here and throughout the play makes a fool out of Polonius. Hamlet thinks that Ophelia is using conception to her advantage which is a sin thus going back to what Hamlet says about women, that they are breeders of sinners.
In act 3 sc.2, the scene where everyone is watching the play, Ophelia asks a question to do with the prologue of the play. She says, Tis brief, my lord. and Hamlet says to her, As woman s love. 6 Again, not all women are like that but some are which brings down their reputation. In act 3 sc.4, Hamlet is telling Gertrude the truth and compares two pictures of Old Hamlet and Claudius. He makes realize how much of a monster she s become by turning away from her husband and marry a monster. Then going onto act 4 sc.5 when Ophelia has a view of men which is fair to say that it is true about them. She says, Young men will do it if they come to it, by Cock, they are to blame. 7 This is true but only with some men who only see women as a tool for pleasure which is wrong because it what s inside them that makes it more enjoyable.
Looking at these points, has surely made us realize that even though Hamlet is just a play, it s full of scenarios that show us how both women and men have things that they are being blamed for till this day. As the world changes we realize that men and women don t change at all. We have seen proof that all women do have inside them an urge to tempt and seduce men into committing sins and it s true, but we have also seen that men too have something they are being blamed for. So even though we agreed with Hamlet to that point, we will claim that Hamlet is wrong about women because he too has to realize that he is a weapon of sin too, thus changing our statement by saying both women and men are to blame for turning against religion and turning to committing sins. But to prevent any arguments, we will say that not all women and men are like that.