Gertrude is the Queen of Denmark and has experienced significant life changes in the last few months. She buries her husband and has remarried her brother in law. This rapid transition to a new marriage does not bode well on her son, Hamlet. Hamlet discusses his distaste in this situation and reflects on this as he tries to overcome the grief of losing his father. Of course it does not sit well with grieving Hamlet that his mothers new marriage has created a lust-filled environment, and that Gertrude has portrayed herself as a very sexual character. At the beginning of the she play she also continuously takes Claudius’ side over Hamlets. An excerpt from Rebecca Smith’s A Heart Cleft in Twain: The Dilemma of Shakespeare’s Gertrude analyzes Hamlet’s first soliloquy in the first act where he voices his disgust for his mother and his shame for her and women in general. In Rebecca’s passage, she states that “Hamlet's violent emotions toward his mother are obvious from his first ...
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...her in order to obtain his wife (Gertrude) as well as the crown to the kingdom. William depicts the females in the play less than positively, and as a result, lead to their own demise. Through the play, Shakespeare illustrates the fallout Queen Gertrude creates for herself as a mother, a wife, and a woman herself through the sacrifice of her own happiness and wellbeing.
Bierman, David. “Women In Hamlet.” Frailty, Thy Name Is Woman. UCSC. 2004.
Shakespeare, William. Hamlet. Don Mills, ON: Oxford UP, 2011
Smith, Rebecca. The Woman’s Part: Feminist Criticism of Shakespeare. Champaign, IL: U of Illinois P, 1983
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