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Shakespeare's Hamlet - Comparing Ophelia and Gertrude

Satisfactory Essays
Hamlet: Ophelia and Gertrude

Ophelia and Gertrude. Two different women who seem to be trapped in the

same circumstances in relation to Hamlet.

Gertrude, Hamlet's mother and the Queen of Denmark. She is married to

the present King, Claudius, who is suspected by Hamlet to have killed his father,

King Hamlet, who also happens to be Claudius's brother. Gerturde has somehow

ended up in the plot of King Hamlet's death and in the eyes of her son, seems to

be a monster and an aide to an adulterating deed.

Ophelia, the daughter of Polonius who is the King's trusted councilor

and is later killed in the play and he forbids his daughter to see Hamlet

because of the possibility that he beseech her name and her virginity. She truly

loves Hamlet and is devastated when he shuns her and pretends to be mad.

Hamlet's treatment towards these two women shapes and brings life to

their characters and eventually bring s an end to their characters as well.

Gertrude is a kind and loving mother. The kind that guards after her son

through thick and through thin and loves unconditionally. Hamlet had suspected

her of aiding in the killing of King Hamlet. That will be discussed later.

Her character is the one character in the play that I believe does not

develop but rather stays identical to the scene in which she is introduced(Act I,

scene II). She is shown to be a quiet, "stand by your man" type individual who

is easily influenced.

This is my belief because in the second scene of the play, Hamlet is

shown to be crushed by his mother's hasty remarriage. If marriage within the

family was common in the days of Shakespeare, then this is understandable, but,

in any other case, this would be considered an act of betrayal that was

obviously brought on by some outside pressure, probably from Claudius.

There is, however, a slight change in her personality that is not quite

noticeable. At the end of the play, the King and Laertes(Polonius's son) have

plotted to kill Hamlet for reasons that are irrelevant to my point. One part of

the plot was to have Hamlet drink out of a poisoned cup. It so happens that, in

some confusion, the Queen ends up with the cup in her hand. Even after the

King's warnings not to drink from the cup(she is unaware of the plot), she does.

She does in complete defiance of her husband's wishes. I have interpreted this

in this way because of the line the Queen speaks before she drinks from the cup.
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