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Comparing Gertrude and Ophelia of Shakespeare’s Hamlet

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…

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…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.

Coleridge, Samuel Taylor. Lectures and Notes on Shakspere and Other English Poets. London : George Bell and Sons, 1904. p. 342-368.

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. No line nos.

Hamlet’s Ghost Father

Hamlet was a very deep and emotional story that was filled with murder, death, and other crazy events. The story also has a supernatural perspective to it, this will be shown throughout the story. One of the supernatural events was Hamlet’s ghost father, the ghost father could be interrupted in many ways. From one perspective it can be seen as the ghost of Hamlet’s father that came to deliver an important message. The message of which was the truth behind his death and that Claudius was the assassin. However, another perspective was that Hamlet was indeed going mad, and the ghost was nothing more than a phantom of his subconscious mind. This theory would be supported by the fact of Hamlet was the only person who could see the ghost.
The ghost…show more content…
Having seen the king, now he has a perfect opportunity. He draws his sword … and does nothing,” (Cutrofello). Hamlet greatest mistake was not killing Claudius when he was praying, he had the perfect opportunity to kill his enemy that ruined his life and stole his destiny. Hamlet made a mistake and let Claudius live, this would cost him his life at the end. If only Hamlet would have killed Claudius, this make no sense to any logical person. Hamlet should have listened to the ghost, the ghost told him all the information he needed to know. However, Hamlet wasted a lot of time being sad and depressed over his father’s death. Hamlet being depressed was a waste of time for him, he had a lot of events that he needed to face. Hamlet’s destiny was to face Claudius, the whole story was structured around this. He should have been training for combat if he was smart, Hamlet could been an obese man. Hamlet was not athletic because he sarcastically compared himself to Hercules. However, he could use a blade decently because he was able to fence with the poisoned blade at the end. Hamlet must have received some training in fencing which would be a common hobby of a prince. Hamlet other than his fencing training was unprepared for his battle with Claudius, Hamlet should have spent more time training and learning Claudius’s weakness. Hamlet’s decisions were controlled by his emotions. Hamlet was a slave to his mind, he even talked about…show more content…
Hamlet conducted a fencing match, the blade of his opponent was poisoned. Also the wine was poisoned as well, this was all planned out by Claudius. Claudius was dedicated to ending Hamlet, Claudius knew that Hamlet was his biggest threat. Killing Hamlet was Claudius’s only way out, one or both of them had to die. Hamlet foolishly walked into Claudius’s trap, Hamlet’s mother drank the wine instead of Hamlet. This was a tactical error made by Claudius, once his plan was started there was no way back. Once Hamlet’s mother died they knew that poison was being used, Hamlet knew Claudius was responsible and Hamlet killed him with the poisoned blade. The same blade that ended Hamlets life, this one blade was able to slay both of them. Claudius and his plan fell apart quickly, Claudius only cared about himself which is why he

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