.] clearly presents in Chapter I, "Victimization and Revenge: Renaissance Voices," a useful survey of the problem, drawing from books on the passions and moving on to consider not only the power of the revenger but the powerlessness of victims, e.g., the Duchess of Gloucester, Ophelia....
In this essay I will explore chiefly Shakespeare's treatment of the three heroine's Ophelia, Desdemona and Cleopatra, of the tragedies Hamlet, Othello and Antony and Cleopatra, beginning with an exploration of Shakespeare's representation of the effects of a patriarchal system upon the characters.
Hamlet's Ophelia - Essays & Reports on Shakespeare
Despite Ophelia’s waxing and waning strength and slow progress, residents’ attention had been focused by the devastation caused elsewhere by Hurricane Katrina.
Did Hamlet Love Ophelia Essay - 1312 Words
Gooch in "Review of The Shapes of Revenge: Victimization, Vengeance, and Vindictiveness in Shakespeare," presents Ophelia as the powerless victim: Harry Keyishian [.
Date 2/4/12 Did Hamlet Love Ophelia
Obedience and silence were very much part of the patriarchal conception of femininity. A conception to which Cleopatra refuses to adhere. When Charmian traditionally suggests that the way to gain and retain Antony's love is to 'In each thing give him way; Cross him in nothing'. Cleopatra replies, 'Thou teachest like a fool, the way to lose him'. Far from being the silent woman, Cleopatra makes her voice heard whenever she wishes, challenging and meeting challenges. She mocks Antony and quarrels with him. Challenging him with a masculine aggression when they argue - 'I would I had thine inches. Thou shouldst know/ There were a heart in Egypt'. Spirited and passionate, such displays of assertion as her physical attack on the messenger informing her of Antony's marriage to Octavia, are a far cry from the passive silent role of the feminine in patriarchal society. In passionate disbelief and anger, she draws a knife on the messenger and strikes him with her bare hands. Charmian tries to pacify her by telling her 'Good madam keep yourself within yourself', but Cleopatra escapes the bounds of self-composure and the repression of self-hood. Her reaction when she feels herself wronged is in very stark contrast to the reactions of Ophelia and Desdemona.
Ophelia - Essay - 87,000+ Free Term Papers and Essays
While Ophelia then, silently and obediently accepts the oppression of male power, turning her distress in upon herself in her madness, Desdemona does display some traces of a more Cleopatra-like self-assertion. In her choosing of Othello as her husband, she exercises her own desire, subverting the female role of passivity within the patriarch, and marries him without parental consent. This is a rather courageous act of will, which could have resulted in much strife. However, she handles the situation with a cleverness and a manipulation which outwits the male judges who listen to her. When her father questions her about her marriage she answers forcefully, first pacifying him and then justifying her disobedience on the very grounds of patriarchal obedience and duty: