_yassainhoo
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"Frailty thy name is women" How accurately may this description be applied to Gertrude and the presentation of women as a whole?

1- what is your answer? come up with an argument
2- What very scenes/ language to focus on?

Can someone help me on this essay?
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Vanny17
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(Original post by _yassainhoo)
"Frailty thy name is women" How accurately may this description be applied to Gertrude and the presentation of women as a whole?

1- what is your answer? come up with an argument
2- What very scenes/ language to focus on?

Can someone help me on this essay?
The quote (Act 1, scene 2), said during Hamlet's soliloquy, "frailty thy name is woman" is ambiguous, it could mean that Gertrude was too weak ("frail") to marry his uncle Claudius "within a month" after his father death. She couldn't wait to marry and so married him in the "most wicked speed". This could mean that Gertrude didn't love his father or that she wanted companionship and so had to marry Claudius quickly to fill the void Hamlet's father's death had created in her life. Hamlet considers this so distasteful that later on as you read on, he considers their marriage "incestuous".
In contrast, it could apply to womanhood, as he says "woman" rather than Getrude. He sees women as weak and fragile. He transfers his hate of women (caused by Gertrude marriage to Claudius as I aforementioned) to Ophelia by being brash in his words to her. He refered to Ophelia as a "breeder of sinners" and told her to go to a "nunnery" more than once (a brothel) in Act 3, scene 1, 114–121. His repetition of telling her to go to a "nunnery" is emphasized, this means he feels that she is a lascivious woman and not worth anything, as he later tells her to that he will give her a "plague" for her dowry and that she should "marry a fool"'. Due to.his mother, Hamlet sees all women as cheats and of no vitue. Even Ophelia's virtous, good nature was seen as a pretense by Hamlet as he feels she isn't as "chaste as ice" or "as pure as snow" as she represents herself to him and society.

All in all, link this quote to the historical setting the play was based on. During this time, society was very patriarchal (Ophelia obeys her father polonious and brother, Laertes e.g she lied to Hamlet about her father going away when he was listening to their conversation).

You need to read the text before and after the quote to get a full meaning of the quote. Read the whole book to get a feel of Getrude's character. Try to find quotes to support your answer and always provide both sides of the argument (for and against). Try to understand the language to get a feel for what the quote mean. Delve deeper into the Shakespearean language used


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