Compare And Contrast Gertrude And Ophelia

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In the play “Hamlet,” Gertrude and Ophelia share similarities and they are also contrasting characters. Gertrude, the mother of Hamlet, is a loving, honorable, protective mother. Ophelia, Hamlet’s love interest, is young, foolish, and underestimated. One of the main stances, to which they both contrast, is their love for Hamlet.

Gertrude and Ophelia both love Hamlet, yet they love him in different ways. Gertrude, his mother, loves Hamlet in a motherly way, placing his honor under her current husband Claudius, which is Hamlet’s uncle, and also the brother of Gertrude’s deceased husband and Hamlet’s late father. Hamlet thinks of his mother as a whore because she married Claudius right after her husband’s untimely death. Gertrude is not a whore;
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This fact plays a crucial role in the mood of the play. If the reader understands history, they also understand that women did not really amount to any importance, they were perceived more as property.

This idea of the classic husband – wife relationship, could quite possibly be the reason why Gertrude and Ophelia played out their roles as they did. Women were not to take precedence of the authority of the men. Gertrude had a man holding her back and Ophelia had a man holding her back.

The two women can also compare through their emotions. Emotion in this play has an important stance. Emotions are what really cause the characters to act the way that they act, and to do the things that they do. For example, Hamlet wanted the other characters to believe that he was mad in order to obtain information about his father’s death. This was a smart move, but the main reason that he did this was due to the drive of his emotions. He was so angry and revenge hungry, that he would do anything to get back at the person who ended his father’s life.
Ophelia loves Hamlet; her emotions drive her to perform her actions. Some would say that Ophelia’s emotions could have actually been what ended her young
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