Discuss either Gertrude or Ophelia as a victim of the men who surround her and more generally, of the tradition of patriarchy itself.
Essays should incorporate at least four BRIEF quotations from the play to support claims; these quotations should be no more than 4 or 5 lines in length each, preferably shorter. Outside sources must be documented MLA style.
Discuss either Gertrude or Ophelia as a victim of the men who surround her and more generally, of the tradition of patriarchy itself. For example, Ophelia might be said by modern readers to be “too obedient,” or at least caught between obeying her father and obeying Hamlet’s wishes. However, she is in most respects (except for her probable affair with Hamlet) a model of the traditional “virtue” of obedience. Similarly, Gertrude is under political pressure to remarry as soon as her husband dies, since war threatens and a queen is deemed unfit to lead in battle. Not only that, but her very probable love connection with Claudius before he murders Hamlet the First argues that she too is susceptible to the “weak will” of women, which if it exists (as we have discussed) is in fact created by the very patriarchy that condemns it. You could also discuss Ophelia’s madness, which while often seen as a sign of her feminine weakness, may have been her only means of gaining the power to openly express her feelings of heartbreak and betrayal.
You’ll need to utilize acts 1-4 from Hamlet for this paper. I’ve included a PDF of the text along with a text interpretations guideline (I’m almost certain you won’t need it, but it’s there for reference). Outside sources aren’t required for this paper but if you do use some PLEASE cite them. Thank you so much