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; she was attempting to do the right thing by loving her son and moving on with her life.
Ophelia, his secret desire, loves Hamlet, but is persuaded against her infatuation by her father, Polonius, and her brother Laertes. Laertes does not approve of Hamlet when he says, “…ear you list his songs, or lose your heart, or your chaste treasure open” (I.3.30-31). He thinks that Hamlet is out for a little sex, and that’s all.
Gertrude’s family is at a higher stature than Ophelia’s family. Gertrude’s family is full royalty while Ophelia’s family is connected to the royal family only through her father Polonius, who is an aid for the king.
Both of the ladies are held by something to which they have no control over, love. Gertrude is held to the current King Claudius, and I do feel that she loves him. It is obvious that she has great respect for him because she denies the fact that he had anything to do with her late husband’s death.
The major problem involving the two women is that they are both t...
... middle of paper ...
...possible suicide, and two, humans associate a great deal of water with drowning and danger. The way that Gertrude died was not expected. No one in that room, except Claudius, knew that Gertrude would truly die from the drink.
The two deaths compare because both Gertrude and Ophelia do die, and they die without reaching their goals. Gertrude’s goal is to find companionship and love. She does not get to enjoy it for long after she finds it, because she dies. Ophelia wants Hamlet, but she never gets him, and she dies. This one factor makes the irony and the sadness of Hamlet so real and understandable.
These two women, driven by so many instances, yet separated by a wall of respect for family against love had so many contrasts, yet they had so many likenesses. These two very different women had one main goal, to be appreciated and loved by all of the men in their lives.
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