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  • Date Submitted: 11/26/2011 02:26 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 58.5 
  • Words: 1277
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Hamlet: More than a Misogynist
"Frailty, thy name is woman!" (1:2:146)
In William Shakespeare’s play “Hamlet”, the protagonist accuses women of being unfaithful, uncaring, deceitful creatures. Hamlet’s misogynistic feelings towards women spring from his mother, Gertrude, and, unfortunately, reflect upon the unsuspecting Ophelia. Yet, his relationship with the female of the species is more complex than that of a simple woman hater.
Gertrude is the root cause of Hamlet’s suspicion towards women. Her hasty, and incestuous, remarriage to Claudius, Hamlet’s uncle, within a week of her former husband’s death causes Hamlet much distress as he questions the fidelity of all women; "O, most wicked speed to post / With such dexterity to incestuous sheets!" (1:2:156-157) Gertrude, though, cannot see that her actions are wrong. More than anything in the world she wants a happy family. At one point she begs Hamlet to "let [his] eye look like a friend on Denmark," (1:2:69) in other words, cast aside his hatred of Claudius. It is likely that she truly loves Claudius, and theirs is the only relationship that might actually be considered healthy. They rely mutually on each other, and the King often takes Gertrude into his confidence, expressing his misgivings to her.
In Hamlet’s mind though, his mother has become a cruel and adulterous creature. Furthermore, according to Amanda Mabillard, "Gertrude is a very sexual being, and it is her sexuality that turns Hamlet so violentlyagainst her." Eventually a woman’s sexuality becomes a gross and despicable thing in Hamlet’s mind and his is filled with nausea at the idea of his mother sleeping with Claudius: "In the rank sweat of an enseamed bed, / Stewed in corruption, honeying and making love / Over the nasty sty!" (3.4.94-96) Hamlet’s disgust with such actions lead to a verbal outbreak of anger with Gertrude in Act Three, Scene Four. In this climatic scene Hamlet finally shows an intense desire to save his mother’s soul by trying to...

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