In Shakespeare’s era, women played a small role socially and politically. In Shakespeare’s play Hamlet, the women have major influence in shaping Hamlet’s behavior. Gertrude, Hamlet’s mother, and Ophelia, Hamlet’s girlfriend negatively affected Hamlet and his decisions and actions throughout the play.
Gertrude has a negative influence on Hamlet during the play. Gertrude’s marriage to Claudius adds to complexity of Hamlet’s revenge. Hamlet is still upset about his mom’s quick marriage to his uncle, Claudius so soon after the death of his dad. He feels that his mom truly did not love his father and or properly mourn his death. Hamlet could not accept this saying, “my father’s brother, but no more like my father/than I, Hercules, with a month/Ere get the salt of the most unrighteous tears had left the flushing in her galled eyes, she married” (1.2.157). He further states, “Frailly, thy name is women” (1.2.150). Hamlet is angry as indicated by saying that all women are weak including the women he loves most.
Ophelia, is Hamlet’s girlfriend and is significant in the play because she helps Hamlet’s insecurities and contributes to her own death. Hamlet’s journey for revenge interferes with his relationship with his girlfriend. Hamlet loves her very much, “doubt thou the stars are fire./Doubt that the sun doth move,/Doubt trut to be a liar but never doubt I love. O Dear Ophelia! I am ill at these numbers: I have not art to recon my groans; but that I love thee best, O most best! Believe it. Adien Thine evermore, most dear lady, whilst this machine is to him, Hamlet (2.2.124). However, because Hamlet’s craziness drove Ophelia to the deep end, their relationship ends tragically with Ophelia’s fall to her death. (refer to paper here…confusing)
Hamlet’s idiocy and thoughts of helping Claudius to his fate, affect his chance of love and a relationship with Ophelia. Ophelia asks Hamlet whether beauty could have any better trade...