Shakespeare’s female characters have qualities about them that tie each of them together in their stories; they also have differences that contrast. Gertrude and Ophelia are from the play Hamlet, and Lady Macbeth is from the play Macbeth. The women in Hamlet are both uncertain about men and life in general, they are also dependent upon men, they would be considered weak in today’s society. Lady Macbeth, however is a very driven and powerful person, men are fearsome of her unlike the women in Hamlet. Like the other women though, Lady Macbeth shows her weaker side in the play. In this paper, the personalities of the women in Hamlet and the woman in Macbeth will be compared and contrasted.
Gertrude, of Hamlet, is an optimistic woman who tries to please everyone around her, including her husband, the King Claudius. Gertrude wants to be Queen, even if it means marrying her dead husbands’ brother to do so. Lady Macbeth also wants her husband to be King, even if it means that she has to murder the current King in order to have it her way. Both women seem to be selfish about their image; they want to be glorified to the utmost extent possible. They both think that being Queen will help their social status, but really, their selfishness caused them to die in the plays. Gertrude dies by drinking from a cup that her husband poisoned. She was not supposed to drink the poison, Claudius had meant for the cup to be for Hamlet. Her death was accidental and suicidal both at the same time. At the end of Macbeth, Lady Macbeth ends up killing herself because of her guilt. After helping to kill the king, Lady Macbeth goes insane; she keeps trying to wash of an invisible bloodstain from her hands. She becomes very weak and sensitive and finally kills herself because of her guilt.
Ophelia, of Hamlet, was a sweet and innocent girl in the beginning of the play. After Ophelia’s father, Polonius, was murdered, she went insan