Of the two women playing active roles, Queen Gertrude and Ophelia, both are the object of sexual desire and appear rather intermittently as fuel to the male dominated drama. However, because I am such an astute feminist, I always try to look at Shakespearian tragedies through a supportive female perspective. Though it is frustrating to see Shakespeare treat his female characters as quasi-pawns, I have found a means of departing from this view through finding symbolism and deeper meaning in the deplorable treatment of women in Hamlet. After reflecting upon the death of Ophelia, I could not help but notice the glaring symbolism and almost sacrificial nature of her death especially when considering the tumultuous emotional status of Hamlet at the time of her passing.
Almost in every play of Shakespeare we can see the dominance of males over women. In his plays women have no right to say what they think or what they want. They are always expected to be faithful to their fathers and husbands. The play opens with a tragic event. According to her father Demetrius is richer and nobler than Lysander and he wants his daughter to marry with Demetrius. From the beginning of the play male dominance can be easily realized in the speeches of Egeus who is the father of Hermia. He goes to Theseus and complains about all that happens.
It explores the types of social control on the two daughters, Portia and Jessica, and studies the ways of their resistance. In the play,the male-dominated society controls the two daughters through the rules and traditions of the Venetian society, and the daughters resist theserules and traditions through writing, cross-dressing, sexuality, and elopement. Therefore, through analyzing the two female characters in this play, this paper provides a literary analysis on the ways and means by which the two daughters are controlled, and at the same time it presents the CHALAK GHAFOOR a s that e po e the daughte s esista e. Patriarchy, Social Control, and Rebellious Daughters.
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