OPHELIA AND GERTRUDE: VICTIMIZED WOMEN IN HAMLET

Abstract

Author(s): Mesut G├ťNEN├ç

Hamlet, the most significant play both in English and world literature, is a masterpiece of Shakespeare who is famous as the most well-known poet and dramatist. His masterpiece Hamlet was possibly written in the first period of the 17th century, but the source of Hamlet is Amleth (a revenge tale) which was published in the 16th century. However, because of Shakespeare’s genius, Hamlet, instead of Amleth, has become the source or subject for many studies and works going on the present since the 17th century. Even though people do not take place in academic life, and do not read Shakespeare, they have knowledge about Hamlet in one way or another. Hamlet has taken place in their daily language and has been used to speak out for specific worldviews. In this play, it is easily observed that most of critics and scholars give full attention to Hamlet himself, but Hamlet is not just an attractive character in this tragedy. We can focus on characters of Hamlet that are victimized/ marginalized by the other, ‘important’ characters. Two victimized/ marginalized women characters are involved in Shakespeare’s play. These women characters are Gertrude and Ophelia. They should be regarded as important for their very detailed positions, and by the help of these women characters; the play has raised in value. The purpose of this paper is to explain the power of males’ effects over these characters, and analyse victimized Gertrude’s and Ophelia’s characteristic features.

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