In Shakespeare's Hamlet and Nino Ricci’s Lives of the Saints both demonstrate different visions of women. Comparing weak and indecisive women in Hamlet as to strong and independent women in Lives of the Saints.
Ophelia in Hamlet is characterized many times as a weak women especially in the quote, “frailty thy name is woman.” She is completely dependent on her father and proves her dependence when she acts cruel to Hamlet. Which goes against her true feelings toward Hamlet. Afterwords Ophelia agrees to not see Hamlet anymore, “ I shall obey my lord.” Which shows Polonious’s control over his daughter. Ophelia’s actions show that she will do anything to please her father, even making a personal sacrifice which she doesn’t agree with. Ophelia’s desire to please her father leads her to be used as a puppet in order for the King and Polonious to spy on Hamlet, Ophelia’s willingness to spy on a person she truly loves, shows her true nature toward her father. Even when Hamlet harasses Ophelia and tells her to go to a nunnery, Ophelia had the inability to defend herself. When her father passes on, Ophelia is left by herself, with no one to give her guidance. Instead of trying to move on with her life, she calls for her brother hoping he will have a plan for her, “My brother shall know of it and so I thank you for your good counsel.” Polonious’s was irreplaceable and finally Ophelia realizes this “ I would give you some violets, but they withered all when my father died.”The significance of the violets are that they symbolize faithfulness and they all died because she felt useless without her father. Ophelia’s death is in result of her dependence and weakness of character.Overall, Ophelia goes mad because she has no position in society. Men have continuously ordered her around, used her, pulling her mind in every direction. She put her faith in one person and never made her own decisions. Similar to Ophelia is Gertrude. She is also characterized by the quote, “frailty...
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