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The Character of Gertrude in Shakespeare’s Hamlet

The Character of Gertrude in Shakespeare’s Hamlet

It is tempting to condemn Gertrude as evil, but it is probably more sensible to consider her as weak and inconstant. Hamlet’s heartfelt line “Frailty, thy name is woman” sums up his view of her actions early in the play. Like many of Shakespeare’s women characters, she is “sketched in” rather than drawn in detail. We know that she has a deep affection for her son, which is commented on by Claudius in Act 4 “The Queen, his mother, lives almost by his looks.” and we may assume that she has not gone to Claudius’s bed unwillingly, although there is a lack of evidence that she returns the King’s obsession with her.

She is protected by the ghost, too, who commands Hamlet not to punish her and intervenes in the closet scene when Hamlet’s attack on Gertrude is at its height. The ghost’s instructions to his son are specific:

“But howsomever thou pursuest this act

Taint not thy mind, nor let thy soul contrive

Against thy mother aught..” (I. v. 84-6)

Hamlet, too reminds the audience twice how Gertrude behaved in th…

Fear and Loathing in Shakespeare’s Hamlet

Fear and Loathing in Hamlet

When you hear the excuse, ” My environment made me do it.” You expect to hear it from

A former gang member on an early morning talk show. But to hear it from Hamlet requires a

double take. I think that Prince Hamlet was a victim of the people around him. I.E. Rosencrantz,

Guildenstern, Polonius, Laertes, Gertrude, and Claudius.

I will start off by telling you why Claudius is involved in Hamlet’s destruction. The first

time is in Act I, scene 2, line’s 109-117. ” You are the most immediate to the throne/ We beseech

you, bend you to remain here [In Denmark]…” Claudius says this as a test for Hamlets wisdom.

If Hamlet agrees with the king, he becomes a sitting duck for the King to kill him. But if he

leaves, then he can raise an army and overthrow Claudius. The latter doesn’t appeal to Claudius

that much. Gertrude persuades Hamlet to stay in Denmark, not for the king, but for the queen.

The queen is not an innocent bystander as well. She shows her dark side when she is

talking to Ophelia about their (Hamlet

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