Essay on William Shakespeare 's ' The Arms Of Claudius '

Essay on William Shakespeare 's ' The Arms Of Claudius '

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Once Gertrude retreats and is back into the arms of Claudius, she tells her traumatic story on how Hamlet killed Polonius, stabbing right through an arras. She confesses to Claudius about his execution, although her tone has changed in a way where it seems that she is defending him: "His madness allows a glimmering of morality to shine through, like a vein of gold in a chunk of coal. He weeps for what he has done," acting as if Hamlet had sorrow for what he has done (IV.i.24-27). This could possibly contribute to how her opinions have changed. Instead of wanting to keep her secrets by hiding and not sharing any details with her son, she could now be trying to help her son, cleansing her conscience since he has an idea of the murder already.
This idea is more apparent when Ophelia comes to see the queen. Ophelia, not knowing where her father is and presuming that Claudius has killed him, enters the palace in a severely insane state of mind. She begins by singing a deranged rhyming song about her father being dead and already placed into the ground without a proper burial. Gertrude tries to talk to her, but always gets interrupt or finds herself at a loss for words (IV.v.29-50). This could be a trigger for her, as she sees the same insanity that she saw in Hamlet when his father was buried. Gertrude sees the horrible sights through Ophelia that Hamlet must have experienced as well, causing her to feel guilty of her previous actions.
Gertrude will ponder on her choices for a while before receiving the terrible news that Ophelia has drowned. Although not directly said in the play, it is heavily implied that her death was a suicide. The queen seems calmer than anything and approaches Laertes in a motherly matter. She tells him how O...


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... husband’s death, there proves to be a great deal of evidence when interpreted correctly. There are context clues throughout the tragedy that help solidify the idea that Gertrude did conspire with Claudius to kill her husband. She would eventually see what she has done wrong, and have a change of heart, eagerly trying to defend Hamlet and make peace with herself. Although she never witnesses her son 's eventual death, she accomplishes her task of confessing Claudius ' plan to have him drink the cup of poisoned wine. Although she took part in the murder of her husband, it is arguable that in the end, after sacrificing herself for her son and helping him to achieve his goal of avenging his father 's death, she felt like a true hero. Perhaps Hamlet is promoting the idea that if one wishes to find inner peace or salvation, then they must atone for their sins before death.

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