It would appear that the Queen has learned some helplessness throughout the course of this scene – maybe this play. She’s not a wilting wallflower. She’s not a shrinking violet. She’s got a lot of fierce regality earlier in the play but now, suddenly, she’s all, “What shall I do?”
And it makes me think of my youth – when I was constantly hoping to give over my authority to other people. I’d learned I had not much to speak of – so in many matters, I would ask to be told what to do. For me, it was usually matters of not much consequence, like where to have lunch.
It seems that now a lot young people, male and female have learned helplessness as well. Even Ivy League kids (maybe especially?) don’t have their own compass, they just want instructions – not just for where to have lunch but on what to study and how and where. They’ve learned to just follow – and never seem to access their own inner compasses. It’s a little bit terrifying.