"Frailty, thy name is woman" ()—but Hamlet 's men are pillars of stability and constancy, right? Right?? Well, maybe not. But Hamlet's attitude toward women is definitely sexist, and it stems from his disgust at his mother's sexuality and seeming unfaithfulness to his dead father. But the play doesn't seem to agree. Hamlet's mother's final guilt is left ambiguous, and we just end up feeling really bad about Ophelia. Hamlet's attitude toward women reveals more about him (and maybe men in general) than it does about women's true nature.
Cleopatra's sexuality, despite condemnation by the patriarchal men - she is referred to as 'strumpet' and 'whore' on various occasions throughout the play - is unhidden and unrestricted. Her sexual power over men is conveyed boldly, for example, in her descriptions of her former conquests 'great Pompey' and 'Broad-fronted Caesar'. Cleopatra's sexuality is not a thing to be locked up, as in Hamlet and Othello , but is celebrated as a positive force. Surprisingly, even Enobarbus, despite his patriarchal views, does on occasions present her as positively sexual, as his unforgettable description of her indicates: