Comparing Gertrude and Ophelia of Shakespeare's Hamlet Essay

Comparing Gertrude and Ophelia of Shakespeare's Hamlet Essay

Length: 1748 words (5 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

A Comparison of Gertrude and Ophelia in Hamlet   

 
    The Shakespearean tragedy Hamlet features two female characters in main roles, Ophelia and Gertrude. They are similar in a surprising number of ways. This essay proposes to elucidate the reader on their likeness or similarity.

 

It is quite obvious that both Gertrude and Ophelia are both motivated by love and a desire for quiet familial harmony among the members of their society in Elsinore. Out of love for her son does Gertrude advise:

 

Dear Hamlet, cast thy nighted color off,

And let thine eye look like a friend on Denmark.

Do not for ever with thy vailed lids

Seek for thy noble father in the dust. (1.2)

 

Likewise does she ask that the prince remain with the family: “Let not thy mother lose her prayers, Hamlet, / I pray thee stay with us, go not to Wittenberg.” Later, when the hero’s supposed “madness” is the big concern, Gertrude lovingly sides with her husband in the analysis of her son’s condition: “I doubt it is no other but the main, / His father’s death and our o’erhasty marriage.” She confides her family-supporting thoughts to Ophelia: “And for your part, Ophelia, I do wish / That your good beauties be the happy cause / Of Hamlet’s wildness,” thereby attempting to keep a loving relationship with the young lady of the court, even though the latter is of a lower social stratum. When Claudius requests of Gertrude, “Sweet Gertrude, leave us too; / For we have closely sent for Hamlet hither,” Gertrude responds submissively, “I shall obey you.”

 

Familial love is first among Gertrude’s priorities. When, at the presentation of The Mousetrap, she makes a request of her son, “Come hither, my dear Hamlet, sit by me,” and he...


... middle of paper ...


...ossary of Literary Terms. 7th ed. New York: Harcourt Brace College Publishers, 1999.

 

Boklund, Gunnar. “Hamlet.” Essays on Shakespeare. Ed. Gerald Chapman. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1965.

 

Burton, Philip. “Hamlet.” The Sole Voice. New York: The Dial Press, 1970. N. pag. http://www.freehomepages.com/hamlet/other/burton-hamlet.htm

 

Coleridge, Samuel Taylor. Lectures and Notes on Shakspere and Other English Poets. London : George Bell and Sons, 1904. p. 342-368. http://ds.dial.pipex.com/thomas_larque/ham1-col.htm

 

Kermode, Frank. “Hamlet.” The Riverside Shakespeare. Ed. G. Blakemore Evans. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1974.

 

Shakespeare, William. The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark. Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 1995. http://www.chemicool.com/Shakespeare/hamlet/full.html No line nos.

 

 

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Comparing Gertrude and Ophelia of Shakespeare's Hamlet Essay

- A Comparison of Gertrude and Ophelia in Hamlet          The Shakespearean tragedy Hamlet features two female characters in main roles, Ophelia and Gertrude. They are similar in a surprising number of ways. This essay proposes to elucidate the reader on their likeness or similarity.   It is quite obvious that both Gertrude and Ophelia are both motivated by love and a desire for quiet familial harmony among the members of their society in Elsinore. Out of love for her son does Gertrude advise:   Dear Hamlet, cast thy nighted color off, And let thine eye look like a friend on Denmark....   [tags: comparison compare contrast essays]

Powerful Essays
1748 words (5 pages)

Comparing Gertrude and Ophelia in Shakespeare's Hamlet Essay

- Gertrude and Ophelia of Hamlet                                          Queen Gertrude, Hamlet's mother, is in some ways the epicentre around which Hamlet's emotions revolve. Her role is difficult to determine; she can be seen, like Desdemona, as the passive victim of male ambition and strife, or she can be placed amongst the likes of Lady Macbeth as privy to her husband's misdeeds, and as sharing his guilt to an equal, if not greater extent. Her attitude to Ophelia seems positive ('Scattering flowers....   [tags: comparison compare contrast essays]

Free Essays
908 words (2.6 pages)

Comparing Hamlet And Hamlet By William Shakespeare Essay

- Juxtaposition is a device that is often used to enhance and relate certain aspects of a writing piece. William Shakespeare uses this device in his plays to emphasize characteristics, themes and even scenes. He does this so that the elements that are being highlighted show major significance throughout the tragedy. In Shakespeare’s Hamlet juxtaposition is evident in the circumstances of the characters as well as their morals. Characters in the play that are juxtaposed against each other are Hamlet with Laertes, Hamlet again with Fortinbras and Ophelia with Gertrude....   [tags: Hamlet, Characters in Hamlet, Gertrude]

Powerful Essays
1710 words (4.9 pages)

Comparing Laertes And Hamlet By William Shakespeare Essay

- Comparison between Laertes and Hamlet: The Reaction to their Father’s Deaths The comparison between Laertes and Hamlet is quite extensive and while both are unquestionably similar they are also complete opposites in the way they handle their father’s deaths. When both are faced with the reality that their fathers have been murdered each forms his own unique path of revenge, which eventually leads to both men’s fated death. At the beginning of the play Hamlet is melancholy and still mourning the death of his father who died two months past....   [tags: Hamlet, Characters in Hamlet, Ghost, Gertrude]

Powerful Essays
1082 words (3.1 pages)

Analysis Of Shakespeare 's ' Hamlet ' Essay

- During the late sixteenth century, the Renaissance movement was in full swing with many scholars, musicians, and artists studying the classical period. Many European scholars looked to the Greeks and Romans for inspiration. A lot of famous works from the Renaissance were inspired by Greek and Roman art. Shakespeare was no exception; he embedded a lot of classical references into most of his plays. In fact, Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar was just a reenactment of Julius Caesar’s death. In Hamlet however, Shakespeare’s classical allusions have a deeper meaning in the play than just going along with the trend of the time....   [tags: Hamlet, William Shakespeare, Characters in Hamlet]

Powerful Essays
1272 words (3.6 pages)

Shakespeare 's Hamlet - Hamlet Vs Laertes Essay

- Cassandra Sarokin ENG 2000 Prof. Pederson June 29, 2015 Hamlet vs Laertes When one thinks of the play Hamlet, one word that comes to mind is tragedy. This play is surrounded by a whole group of people who only seem to find misfortune in every step they take. This essay will explain how Hamlet and Laertes are similar to one another. Both men seem to act on impulses to get their way, both men share a love for Ophelia and they both relate to their families in the same way. In the play Hamlet, both characters seem to amplify their need to be impulsive when mad....   [tags: Gertrude, Characters in Hamlet, Hamlet, Family]

Powerful Essays
806 words (2.3 pages)

William Shakespeare 's Hamlet Is A Tragedy That Revolves Around Three Central Themes

- Shakespeare’s Hamlet is a tragedy that revolves around three central themes. These themes are death, betrayal, and revenge. In order to both advance the plot and produce character motivations, Shakespeare uses a plethora of literary devices; including foreshadowing, imagery, symbolism, and indirect characterization. These devices have the additional effect of conveying a sense of suspense and danger, while also offering psychological insight into the characters’ minds. One of the most widely used literary devices in Hamlet is foreshadowing....   [tags: Hamlet, Characters in Hamlet, Gertrude]

Powerful Essays
1187 words (3.4 pages)

Essay about Hamlet, By William Shakespeare

- In the play “Hamlet” written by William Shakespeare, the Prince of Denmark, Hamlet, has tragedy occur within his family. The play exaggerates the revenge the prince is called to create upon his uncle, Claudius, by the ghost of Hamlet 's father, King Hamlet. Claudius murdered his own brother and seized the throne and also married his deceased brother 's widow. Shakespeare portrayed Hamlet as a philosophical minded prince who delays seeking revenge on Claudius to prove Claudius’s guilt. Hamlet’s most notable metaphor “to be or not to be” (3.1.53) utters his own existence in the play....   [tags: Hamlet, Characters in Hamlet, Prince Hamlet]

Powerful Essays
1179 words (3.4 pages)

Essay about Women in Shakespeare’s Hamlet

- Women in Shakespeare’s Hamlet Hamlet is one of Shakespeare’s most famous plays. In this essay I will look at Hamlets perception of women in general but particularly Gertrude and Ophelia. I will also look at the historical presentation of women, comparing Hamlets time to today and seeing if the symbolic role that the females characters have is related to the period. Also I will look at Hamlets madness, whether it was real or not and also whether women could be the cause of it. Finally I will look at a possible ‘Oedipus complex’ in Hamlet....   [tags: Shakespeare Hamlet Females Essays]

Powerful Essays
1162 words (3.3 pages)

Hamlet and Disease Essay

- Hamlet and Disease Throughout the play Hamlet, Shakespeare displays many underlying themes by way of imagery. Throughout the story, disease plagues Denmark and the people in it, shown by imagery that Shakespear delivers consistently throughout. In the opening scene, Horatio makes an interesting statement: "As stars with trains of fire and dews of blood, Disasters in the sun; and the moist star upon whose influence Neptune's empire stands was sick almost to doomsday with eclipse (1.1.117-120)." He compared the ghost as a possible sign of disaster or catastrophe in Denmark, as to what happened before the death of Julius Caesar....   [tags: Shakespeare Hamlet]

Powerful Essays
970 words (2.8 pages)