What excerpt from act 3 of Hamlet supports the conclusion that Hamlet is critical of women?
Hamlet does hold a critical and dubious opinion of women. The best evidence for the assertion comes from an extract from Act III of Hamlet. That is to say, this part: “I had heard of your works too, well enough. You have one face that God has given you, but you give yourself another. You jig and saunter, you lisp, you call God’s creatures by their nicknames, and you pass off your wantonness as ignorance.
“Go to, I’ll no more on’t; it has made me crazy,” the next sentence says. I assert that there won’t be any more marriages; those who are already married—all but one—shall continue to be so. Go to a nunnery.
This sentence is intriguing on a number of levels:
First of all, it shows Hamlet’s conceit about all female intelligence. It’s instructive that he finds himself in the position of evaluating the intelligence of all women. It serves as evidence of his steadfast confidence in his superiority to people of different genders.
Second, think on Hamlet’s commanding tenor in the final phrase, “to a nunnery, go.” This instance of Hamlet’s views on women reflects the time period in which it was written. It was typical to dismiss female authority and show little interest in a female perspective. This lack of control over one’s destiny is a hallmark of Elizabethan drama. Women were not permitted to perform in the theater at the time. Young guys so assumed female roles. Readers can comprehend the lack of control women had over their bodies and lives even in this aspect.
This Act III sentence also demonstrates Hamlet’s complex attitude toward women. They are to blame, he claims, for his disturbed mental state. He accuses a different gender of turning him into a lunatic. He claimed that ladies drove him to mental illness through mental illness.