An analysis of gertrude a character in hamlet a play by william shakespeare

Introduction to Gertrude in Hamlet Gertrude is, more so than any other character in the play, the antithesis of her son, Hamlet. He cares nothing for this "mortal coil" and the vices to which man has become slave.

An analysis of gertrude a character in hamlet a play by william shakespeare

An analysis of Gertrude, Hamlet's Mother

Introduction to Gertrude in Hamlet Gertrude is, more so than any other character in the play, the antithesis of her son, Hamlet. Hamlet is a scholar and a philosopher, searching for life's most elusive answers.

He cares nothing for this "mortal coil" and the vices to which man has become slave. Gertrude is shallow, and thinks only about her body and external pleasures. Like a child she longs to be delighted. We do not see much of her in daily activity, but if we could we would see a woman enraptured by trinkets and fine clothes, soft pillows and warm baths.

Gertrude is also a very sexual being, and it is her sexuality that turns Hamlet so violently against her. The Ghost gives Hamlet, who is already disgusted with his mother for marrying his uncle such a short time after his father's death, even more disturbing information about the Queen: Ay, that incestuous, that adulterate beast, With witchcraft of his wit, with traitorous gifts,-- O wicked wit, and gifts that have the power So to seduce!

This would make the Queen a far more loathsome character than Shakespeare had intended, and the rest of the play makes no mention of this adultery.

Adulterate, by definition, means to change to a worse state by mixing; to contaminate with base matter. And Claudius has indeed, according to the Ghost, contaminated his precious Gertrude, but this does not mean that Claudius did so before Hamlet's father died.

If Gertrude were an adulteress, she would have been almost certainly been involved in Claudius' plot of murder, and therefore she would be the play's villainess and not its child-like victim.

An analysis of gertrude a character in hamlet a play by william shakespeare

Claudius would believe her to be an accomplice and confide in her, but he does not. Moreover, if it were true, it most surely would be foremost on Hamlet's mind, but when Hamlet confronts Gertrude in her closet and announces all her crimes, he does not once even imply that she has committed adultery.

And, as Olav Lokse points out in his book Outrageous Fortune: Draper] also draws attention to the Ghost's complaint that he was "Of life, of crown, of queen at once dispatch'd" I.

She lies to herself about the consequences of her actions, and she lies to those around her. But she lies to protect. Hers are not cruel and wicked falsehoods; hers are white lies that she feels she must tell in order to keep her and those around her safe physically and emotionally. She must tell the King that Hamlet has killed Polonius, but, she does what she can to help Hamlet, telling Claudius that Hamlet "weeps for what is done" when clearly he does not.

An analysis of gertrude a character in hamlet a play by william shakespeare

On the surface it is hard to comprehend why Hamlet, his father, and Claudius all have such a deep devotion to Gertrude. But the qualities that save her from condemnation along with Claudius are subtly woven into the play.

She loves Hamlet, and, underneath her shallow exterior, shows great emotion when he confronts her. Gertrude truly does not know what she has done to make Hamlet so furious, and it is only when he tells her that she understands her actions to be wrong: O Hamlet, speak no more: Thou turn'st my very eyes into my soul, And there I see such black and grained spots As will not leave their tinct III.

O speak to me no more; these words like daggars enter my ears; No more, sweet Hamlet! No where else in the play is Gertrude portrayed as cunning or Janus-faced, as is Claudius. Even though Hamlet lashes out at her with all the rage he can muster, Gertrude remains faithful to him, protecting him fron the King.

And, although her love for Claudius is wrong by moral standards, she is now his queen, and remains loyal to him. We see she has the potential for great love -- she wants to protect Claudius from the mob, and she cares deeply about Ophelia and Polonius, and is concerned for Hamlet in the duel even though she has no idea that it is a trap.

It is Gertrude's underlying propensity for goodness that redeems her. Her men forgive her for her shallow, sensual nature and her addictions to comfort and pleasure because they see that she is innocent of premeditation.

It is sad but fitting that Gertrude meet her end drinking from the poisoned goblet, demanding that she taste what is in the pretty cup, as trusting as a new-born babe.

How to cite this article: Hill and Wang, Oslo University Press, The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, often shortened to Hamlet (/ ˈ h æ m l ɪ t /), is a tragedy written by William Shakespeare at an uncertain date between and Set in Denmark, the play dramatises the revenge Prince Hamlet is called to wreak upon his uncle, Claudius, by the ghost of Hamlet's father, King rutadeltambor.comus had murdered his own brother and seized the throne.

Focussing on key quotations and theatrical interpretations, Tamara Tubb explores the character of Gertrude in Hamlet and her role within the play. Exploring the character of Gertrude Gertrude is Hamlet’s mother and Queen of Denmark.

In William Shakespeare's play Hamlet, Gertrude is Hamlet's mother and Queen of rutadeltambor.com relationship with Hamlet is somewhat turbulent, since he resents her marrying her husband's brother Claudius after he murdered the King (young Hamlet's father, King Hamlet).Gertrude reveals no guilt in her marriage with Claudius after the recent murder of her husband, and Hamlet begins to show signs .

Introduction to Gertrude in Hamlet Gertrude is, more so than any other character in the play, the antithesis of her son, Hamlet. Hamlet is a scholar and a philosopher, searching for .

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Get free homework help on William Shakespeare's Hamlet: play summary, scene summary and analysis and original text, quotes, essays, character analysis, and filmography courtesy of CliffsNotes.

William Shakespeare's Hamlet follows the young prince Hamlet home to Denmark to . First performed around , Hamlet tells the story of a prince whose duty to revenge his father’s death entangles him in philosophical problems he can’t solve.

Shakespeare’s best-known play is widely regarded as the most influential literary work ever written. Read a character analysis of Hamlet, plot summary, and important quotes.

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