Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Hamlet

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Qwerty Ytrewq


English10


Instructor G. Cook


April,00


livepaperhelp.com



Hamlet.


Modern folklore suggests women look at a mans relationship with his mother to predict how they will treat other women in their life. Hamlet is a good example of a sons treatment of his mother reflecting how he will treat the woman he loves because when considering Hamlets attitude and treatment of the Ophelia in William Shakespeares play, Hamlet, one must first consider how Hamlet treated his mother. A characteristic of Hamlets personality is to make broad, sweeping generalizations and nowhere is this more evident than in his treatment toward women. Very early in the play, while discussing his mothers transgressions, he comments, Frailty, thy name is woman. Hamlet appears to believe all women act in the same manner as his mother.


The first time the audience meets Hamlet, he is angry and upset at Queen


Gertrude, his mother, for remarrying his uncle so soon after the death of his father. In his


first soliloquy he comments on the speed of her remarriage


Within a month,


Ere yet the salt of most unrighteous tears


Had left the flushing in her galled eyes,


She married. O, most wicked speed, to post


With such dexterity to incestuous sheets!


It is not, nor it cannot come to good.


It is understandable Hamlet is upset with his mother for forgetting about his father and


marrying his uncle, Claudius. In Hamlets eyes, his father deserves more than one month


of mourning and by remarrying so quickly, the queen has sullied King Hamlets memory.


This remarriage is a sin and illegal, however special dispensation was made because she


is queen.


Hamlets opinion of his mother worsens as the play progresses because his father,


who appears as a ghost, tells him of his mothers adulterous behavior and his uncles


shrewd and unconscionable murder. Although Hamlet promises to seek revenge on King


Claudius for murdering his father, he is initially more concerned with the ghosts


revelations regarding his mother. King Hamlet tells Hamlet not to be concerned with his


mother but after the apparition leaves, it is the first thing Hamlet speaks of. Before


vowing to avenge his fathers death, he comments on the sins his mother committed.


Although Hamlet decides to pretend to be insane in order to plot against the King,


it is clear, he really does go mad. His madness seems to amplify his anger toward his


mother. During the play scene, he openly embarrasses her and acted terribly toward her


in the closet scene. The closet scene explains much about Hamlets treatment of women


and his feelings toward his mother. Hamlet yells at his mother for destroying his ability


to love. He accuses her of such an act


That blurs the grace and blush of modesty,


Calls virtue hypocrite, takes off the rose


From the fair forehead of an innocent love


And sets a blister there.


Hamlet curses his mother for being responsible for his inability to love Ophelia. Queen


Gertrudes actions have caused Hamlet to see all women in a different light because she


has taken away his innocence and love for women.


After Hamlet kills Polonius, he tests Queen Gertrude to see if she knows about


the murder of his father and both he and the audience seem satisfied she was not party to


that knowledge. Hamlet takes it upon himself to tell the queen her new husband killed


the former king, however he is interrupted by the ghost who warns Hamlet not to tell his


mother. The ghosts tells Hamlet he should be more concerned with King Claudius,


suggesting revenge must be taken soon.


During this scene Queen Gertrude is unable to see her dead husband which in


Elizabethan times implied she was unable to see the gracious figure of her husband


because her eyes are held by the adultery she has committed. The


ghosts steals away from the closet when he realizes his widow cannot see him, causing


Hamlet to hate Gertrude even more because he felt the same rejection when Ophelia


rejected him. He can feel his fathers grief as a son and as a lover.


It was devastating to see his father rejected by the queen in the same manner he was


rejected by Ophelia.


Understanding Hamlets hatred toward his mother is pivotal in understanding his


relationship with Ophelia because it provides insight into his treatment of Ophelia. In


Hamlets eyes, Ophelia did not treat him with the love and respect she should have.


Hamlet and Ophelia loved each other but very early in the play, she is told by her father


to break off all contact with him. Hamlet is understandably upset and bewildered when


Ophelia severs their relationship with no explanation.


The audience does not see the next interaction with Hamlet and Ophelia but hear


Ophelia tell her father about Hamlets distress, causing them to both to believe Hamlet is


mad, thus falling for his plot. According to Ophelia, Hamlets appearance was one of a


madman. She described for her father the length of time he stayed her in bedroom and


said


He raised a sigh so piteous and profound


As it did seem to shatter all his bulk,


And end his being. That done, he lets me go,


And with his head over his shoulder turned


He seemed to find his way without his eyes,


For out a doors he went without their helps,


And to the last bended their light on me.


Hamlet comes to Ophelia on the brink of a breakdown, partly caused by his mothers


infidelities and when he turns to his lover for support, his mothers lesson are reinforced


and through her actions, Ophelia confirms in Hamlets mind, that women can not be


trusted. Although Hamlet was pretending to be mad, he still loved Ophelia and was


devastated by her disloyalty.


Although Ophelia was only following the wishes of her father, her actions suggest


to Hamlet she can be no more trusted than Queen Gertrude. In a cryptic way Hamlet is


incredibly rude to Polonius calling him a fishmonger, or a bawd and his daughter a


prostitute in Act II. This is the jilted lover speaking in this scene more so than the mad man Hamlet is pretending to be.


Hamlets anger deepens toward Ophelia when he hears of the King, Queen and


Polonius plot to use Ophelia to find out if he has gone mad for love of her. Poor


Ophelia, just wanting to please her father and the royalty, sadly over plays her role during


the nunnery scene. Ophelia anxiously jumps into her role at the beginning of their


conversation, barely even greeting Hamlet before she tries to return his gifts. Although


he claims not to have given such gifts, she says


My honored lord, you know right well you did,


And with them words of so sweet breath composed


As made the things more rich. Their perfume lost,


Take these again, for to the noble mind


Rich gifts wax poor when givers prove unkind.


There, my lord.


With this speech, Ophelia wanted to provoke Hamlet into declaring his love, but instead he called her a liar. The entire rest of this scene is meant for Polonius and the King who are listening. Hamlet recognizes Ophelias dismal attempt at acting and gives her one last chance to redeem herself


Ham. Wheres your father?


Oph. At home my lord.


Ophelia has failed the final test because Hamlet knows her father is listening. At this point in the play, Hamlet is very unstable and in his mind, he thinks all women are adulterous like his mother and cannot be trusted. Ophelia has just proved this to him and he acts terribly toward her, telling her


Get thee to a nunnery, farewell. Or if thou wilt needs marry, marry a fool,


for wise men know well enough what monsters you make of them. To a


nunnery, go, and quickly too.


Farewell Hamlet seems to be talking about women in general when he says a wise man knows what a monster a woman can make of them. He is being very cruel to all women, not just Ophelia, in this scene, because they are all the same to him. Hamlet goes as far as calling Ophelia a prostitute as a nunnery refers to a bawd house.


For someone who is presumably in love, Hamlet treats Ophelia terribly in this


play. His anger and hatred toward his mother, on top of his insanity, makes it difficult


for him to see that Ophelia was following her fathers orders, not purposefully betraying


Hamlet. This treatment of women is unbecoming of a hero in a tragedy and really shows


the extent of his insanity. It was too much for Hamlet to accept the death of his father by


the hand of his uncle and the adulterous behavior of his mother, so consequently he was


very harsh on Ophelia. Hamlet could not bear any more rejection and despair in his life


which Ophelia, whether she meant to or not, brought into it.





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