Queen Gertrude is the wife of the late King Hamlet and the mother of their son Hamlet; she is a simple yet important character in a play called Hamlet by William Shakespeare. Gertrude finds herself in a dilemma after the sudden death of her husband King Hamlet. She hastily decides to marry the former king's brother Claudius. Hamlet becomes incredibly angry over this state of affairs, but, rather than halt her engagement Gertrude continues on. The queen requests that Hamlet stays in the kingdom rather return to his studies. She must continue to make attempts to cover up Hamlet's behavior, which eventually cause her death at the end.
After the death of Old Hamlet and Gertrude’s remarriage to Claudius, Hamlet feels extremely angry and bitter. “How weary, stale, flat, and unprofitable / Seem to me all the uses of this world!” (1.2.133-134). Due to the death of his father, he is already in a state of despair and the lack of sympathy that his mother has towards his sorrow does not aid him in recovering from this stage of grief. “Good Hamlet, cast thy knighted colour off, / And let thine eye look like a friend on Denmark” (1.2.68-69). Hamlet is struggling to accept the fashion in which Gertrude is responding to the death of Old Hamlet; she seems quite content with her new life with Claudius, which is a difficult concept for him to accept as after the d...
Hamlet is first tormented by the death of his father, the king of Denmark. Then he is cast into utter agony when Gertrude, the mother he loves dearly is hastily married to his uncle, Claudius. Through a ghostly revelation, Hamlet learns that his suspicions that Claudius murdered his father are true. He becomes incensed and wants to enact revenge upon the guilty party. From this point on, Hamlet struggles with his plan for revenge that conflicts with his opposite contemplative nature.
Gertrude’s blindness to the whole situation is sickening. How she marries the brother of her former husband right after he kills him and never knows the truth is beyond me. She never cared about how her son felt before or after she married Claudius. She didn’t even wait very long after her husband died to get married again ( I; ii; 180-181. "Thrift, thrift, Horatio. The funeral baked meats did coldly furnish forth the marriage tables".). Therefore she is either a very slow, naïve woman or a very evil, coldhearted one. For someone to side with a person even after their own son has told them that the person they’re with has murdered their former lover is absolute lunacy ( III; iv; 29-30. "A bloody deed- almost as bad, good mother, as kill a king, and marry his brother".). Not knowing the truth in the first place is one thing, but turning your back on your own flesh and blood is another. Therefore without his mother on his side, Hamlet has lost all the family in his life that could have helped him get through his terrible time and he sinks lower than ever before.
The king was murdered, and Hamlet's mother, Gertrude, progresses immediately over her husband's death. Then she gets courted to Hamlet's uncle to maintain her crown. The love Hamlet has for his father never diminishes unlike his mother who weds after two months. Young Hamlet declines to recognize that his dad's death was from unnatural causes. Hamlet cannot make out what to do with his life. He declares
Oddly, it appears that Gertrude possess more significance to Hamlet than one first anticipates. Her swift call to matrimony leads Hamlet into a spiraling quarry of depression and grieving. This mirrors the Oedipus complex. Gertrude sexually commits herself to Claudius causing Hamlet to feel a sense of jealousy and disappointment. In retaliation, he expresses his repressed desire of love through his unruly comments. He even goes as far as to say that the love is incestuous. Furthermore, in Act 3 scene 4, Hamlet confronts his mother directly in a closet. Addressing concern over her sexual actions, he exclaims “In the rank sweat of an enseamèd bed, / Stewed in corruption, honeying and making love / Over the nasty sty” (III.iv.104-106). Not only does this quote show that Hamlet disapproves his mother’s marriage, but also that he believes Claudius is a wicked criminal. Aligning with the Oedipus complex, Hamlet strangely obsesses over his mother’s love life while viewing his uncle in
Hamlet takes control of the conversation from the very beginning of the scene although it is Gertrude who was meant to be rebuking him and doing much of the talking. Hamlet succeeds in shaming her until the point when she begs him to stop. Hamlet having the upper hand in the conversation, asks his mother to change her ways, which she agrees to and asks for his advice, showing that she has submitted herself to her son. Hamlet does not really show much respect for his mother while reproving her and forcing her to sit down but he does love her. Some critics believe that his love shows sexual connotation and that is a reason why he gets so upset at her remarriage. There is a point in this scene when Gertrude thinks her life is in danger of Hamlet and gets frightened, which shows us that she considers him to be mad and harmful. After this scene she becomes aware that Hamlet isn't mad and starts trusting him as opposed to Claudius. This is exactly how Shakespeare has presented women throughout the play: they are easy to convince, very meek and become submissive to the men (as we can see Ophelia and her response to her father and brother). They are depicted as weak and inferior in comparison to the male figures, who control their lives. After the closet scene Gertrude keeps faith to her son and lies to her husband Claudius for Hamlet saying he killed Polonius in his madness:
Hamlet possesses an uncomfortable obsession with his mother’s sexuality. For this reason, Hamlet’s soliloquies provide most of the audience’s information about Gertrude’s sexual activities. In his first soliloquy, Hamlet refers to the relationship between Gertrude and Claudius when he exclaims, “Within a month…She married. O, most wicked speed, to post / With such dexterity to incestuous sheets!” (I, ii, 153-157). In saying this, Hamlet displays how hastily Gertrude has abandoned the late King Hamlet, Hamlet’s father, such that she has already married Claudius, Hamlet’s uncle. In addition, Hamlet acknowledges that Gertrude and Claudius have quickly developed a very sexual relationship. Despite the very recent death of her husband, Gertrude is unable to control her sexual desires, and she remarries less than two months after King Hamlet’s funeral.
Hamlet undergoes a series of trials and troubles some that are internal and other’s that create towards a certain path that he cannot escape. Hamlet’s best destruction in this path of no return is characterized in the beginning with his uncertainty of his existence and feeling over the loss of his father’s death. Young Hamlet faces risk within his mind when his mother marries his uncle soon after the death of his father. The death of Hamlet’s father and the immediate marriage of King Claudius and Hamlets mother Gertrude was a major factor in Hamlets depression. Unable to comprehend his melancholy mood he boards on a journey of revenge when learning his father’s ghostly appearance is wandering the Castle at night restless from not finding closure in his life. This event derives from his father’s meeting and revealing the cause of his extraordinary death. Hamlet’s uncle Claudius schemed and conquered in killing his own brother in order to gain the throne and Hamlet in some obligation towards truth, anger, and revenge agrees to expose
Shakespeare’s Hamlet, shows strong prejudice against woman especially with such characters of Ophelia and Gertrude. Shakespeare created an interesting character with Gertrude; he created a character that sits in the middle of all the conflict and appears to not partake in much of it. However Gertrude does seem intent in defusing it at every possible chance she receives. Gertrude is a central figure in the play. She appears a great deal but doesn’t say much – implying mystery and creating an interesting uncertainty in the audience. Hamlet spends a lot of time dwelling on her marriage to Claudius and Shakespeare leaves many questions unanswered with Gertrude such as did she have an affair with Claudius behind old hamlets back? Why does she drink the poisoned wine that is intended for her son? Does she know it is poisoned? Gertrude is the mother of Hamlet and although they do not have a typical mother son relationship she does love him. Queen Gertrude is often interpreted by many as an adulterate, incestuous woman. Catherine Belsey states that typical interpretations of Hamlet maintain: ‘Gertrude a slut; and Shakespeare a patriarchal bard’ (Belsey,1997:34). Gertrude’s actions throughout the play could be read to show her to be a very passive character, far from a strong independent woman. This is shown with her obedience to Claudius, three times during the play, Gertrude is told to leave and each times she complies without hesitation. In Act 1, scene 2 Claudius says to Gertrude, ‘Madam, come’ (122). Then again, Act 3, scene 1, Claudius says to her, ‘Sweet Gertrude, leave us .’ (28), she complies with ; ‘I shall obey you’ (37). And finally, in Act 4, scene 1, Claudius say, ‘O Gertrude, come away!’ (28). This obedience that Gertrude ...