act 1 scene 3

Laertes and Polonius both give Ophelia advice on how she should deal with hamlet. Since neither really have anything on which to base their suspicions, what conclusions can you draw about their attitudes rowards women?

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Both Polonius and Laertes see women as possessions to be controlled. They, especially Polonius, are more concerned about their reputation than Ophelia’s wellbeing. They want control over Ophelia's love and sex life. They see Ophelia as a subservient girl that will be valuable if and when a marriage is brokered. They do not want to see her being her own individual or becoming "damaged goods".