Higher The guidance and demands Ophelia typically receives begins

Higher standards and expectations aren’t the only things Ophelia is held to. While men can freely express their emotions, women lack this opportunity. The male characters are able to act however they want throughout the play. Even though Ophelia goes through horrific times, like her father’s death and Hamlet’s insults, she has nothing to help her cope with her emotions of fear or anger. After act 4, the one thing Hamlet and Ophelia share are that they have both lost their fathers, but this loss exhibits itself differently in Ophelia than in Hamlet. While it is completely normal for Hamlet to seek revenge, Ophelia is expected to remain passive. Laertes is the one who takes action. He returns to the kingdom and proclaims he will, “be revenged most thoroughly for his father”(4.5.153-154). Because Laertes is a man, he has the privilege of being able to take action due to his pain, while Ophelia, who shares the same feeling, is expected to mask her pain and remain silent. Hamlet and Ophelia symbolize how different genders are able to react to horrific events. Society defines Hamlet’s reaction as precisely male, while Ophelia’s is precisely female. The guidance and demands Ophelia typically receives begins to disappear towards the end of the play. She is suddenly left to act on her own. Since men constantly dictate women lives, when left on their own, women are so accustomed that they are unable to act at all. When Ophelia’s father dies, she becomes mad. Ophelia sings,  “And will he not come again? No, no, he is dead” (4.5.214-215). When all of Ophelia’s guidance is taken away from her, she has no idea how to take care of herself, which ultimately leads to her death. When Ophelia makes multiple references to her father during her madness, she further proves that she still has the tendency to turn to the men in her life so they can tell her what to do, even when they are gone. This ultimately proves that when women have been living their whole lives under male authority, when left to fend for themselves, they will not have success at surviving.   Ophelia did not have any control over her faith, but in the end, the roots of her madness can be linked to the realities of a woman’s life today. Unfortunately, it would be false to say that Ophelia’s life is unlike lives of women today. Her passiveness throughout the play,  her unequal relationships with men, and her helplessness, all sound familiar. To this day, women still live in a male-dominated society and where they are expected to meet the unrealistic standards. Even though it is not true, men clearly still think they need to guide women because they are incapable to do anything for themselves.