Tuesday, January 21, 2020
Hamlet Essay -- Shakespeare
Ã¢â¬ËCritics often judge Gertrude as a weak, selfish and innocent woman, caught up in conflicts she does not fully understand.Ã¢â¬â¢ To what extent do you agree with this? The two female characters in ShakespeareÃ¢â¬â¢s tragedy seem to be drowned in the mist of the deceitful power-game played by the male characters, which contribute to the on-going tragic conventions of murder, revenge and betrayal so prevalent in this form of drama. The title of HamletÃ¢â¬â¢s metatheatrical play-within-a-play, 'the mouse-trap' is as applicable to the plot of ShakespeareÃ¢â¬â¢s 'Hamlet'; set in the especially patriarchal society of Elsinore, which is dominated by the authoritative actions of the male characters, Hamlet may be seen as a tragedy where the female characters have small and seemingly unimportant roles in the tragic plot compared to the climactic Ã¢â¬ËmasculineÃ¢â¬â¢ moments Ã¢â¬â the visitations of the Ghost, the dramatic agon between Hamlet and Claudius and the final conquest between Hamlet and his counterpart Laertes. Gertrude is a character whose fate is tragically overshadowed by the power of these men, indicative of the submissive role o f women in the Jacobean period. Despite the fact that directors often present Gertrude as a sensual and deceitful woman who is vain and self-satisfied with strong sexual appetites, if one looks to ShakespeareÃ¢â¬â¢s text, this character has a very small and arguably innocent voice in the play; indeed Rebecca Smith argues that Ã¢â¬ËGertrudeÃ¢â¬â¢s words and action create not the lusty, lustful, lascivious Gertrude that one generally sees in stage and film productions but a compliant, loving, unimaginative woman whose only concern is pleasing othersÃ¢â¬â¢. In order to assess ShakespeareÃ¢â¬â¢s characterisation of the Queen, it is necessary to exami... ...arded as selfish, weak and innocent, caught up in a conflict that she more than understands. Works Cited Bamber, L.(1990) Ã¢â¬Å"Class Struggle: Shakespeare and Sexism.Ã¢â¬ The WomenÃ¢â¬â¢s Review of Books 7:5. Bradley, A.C. (1966) Shakespearean Tragedy. New York: St. Martin's Press. Burnett, Mark, ed. (1994) New Essays on Hamlet. New York: AMS Press. Granville-Barker, Henry. (1970) Prefaces to Shakespeare. New York: Hill and Wang. Heilbrun, Carolyn. (1957) HamletÃ¢â¬â¢s Mother. California: University of California Press. Kolin, Philip C. (1991). Shakespeare and Feminist Criticism an Annotated Bibliography and Commentary. New York: Garland. Loske, Olaf. (1960) Outrageous Fortune. Oslo: Oslo University Press. Shakespeare, William. Hamlet. Shakespeare, William. Macbeth. Smith, Rebecca. Ã¢â¬ËA Heart Cleft in Twain: the Dilemma of ShakespeareÃ¢â¬â¢s GertrudeÃ¢â¬â¢.