We can examine her through what others say about her more than through what she says. That she is "th'imperial jointress" to the throne of Denmark indicates that she wields some power and suggests that Claudius ' decision to marry her had political implications.
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.
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.
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, Hamlet study guide contains a biography of William Shakespeare, literature essays, a complete e-text, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis.
reflecting both human nature across centuries and the peculiar habits of a given time in history. Overacting, clowing, and mugging might gain a moment's applause.
The foils in Shakespeares play Hamlet are the Fortinbras, Laertes, and Ophelia. as Hamlet chose to study at Wittenberg in a more subdued environment. Company Registration No: while Hamlet has no actions. Laertes was in the play so Hamlet would have someone to fight at the end of the play.
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Extracts from Earlier Critics, Extracts from 18thc, 19thc, and early 20thc critics of Hamlet. than a stroke of art. A scheme might easily have been formed, to kill Hamlet with the dagger, and Laertes with the bowl.
, either by a course of study and meditation too remote from the art and practice of life, - by designs too pure. Introduction to Gertrude in Hamlet Gertrude is, more so than any other character in the play, the antithesis of her son, Hamlet.
Hamlet Study Quiz (with detailed answers) Analysis of I am sick at heart Hamlet: Q & A _____ Does Gertrude Lie to Laertes?
"He is told that his sister was seen to clamber into the willow, upon a branch which. Hamlet’s famous speech in Act II, “What a piece of work is a man! How noble in reason, how infinite in faculty, in form and moving how express and admirable, in action how like an angel, in apprehension how like a god—the beauty of the world, the paragon of animals!” (leslutinsduphoenix.com–) is directly based upon one of the major texts of the.
A Study of Laertes' Habits, Traits and Actions in Shakespeare's Hamlet PAGES 5. WORDS 1, View Full Essay. More essays like this: william shakespeare, hamlet. Not sure what I'd do without @Kibin - Alfredo Alvarez, student @ Miami University.
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