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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…

Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock Essay: A Beautifully Complicated Masterpiece

The Love Song Of J. Alfred Prufrock : A Beautifully Complicated Masterpiece

The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, by T.S. Eliot is a beautifully complicated masterpiece. The poem rises above all standards of poetry and completely blows your mind. The poem consists of twenty stanzas, each telling a different part of the story of J. Alfred Prufrock’s life.

Eliot uses many poetic devices to add a hint of magic to the sound of the poem. The diction he uses turns what seems to be a normal poetic work of art into a dream where everything flows together like magic. An example of his diction would be Eliot’s powerful use of metaphor in lines 15 – 25 of the poem.

The yellow fog that rubs its back upon the window-panes,

The yellow smoke that rubs its muzzle on the window-panes,

Licked its tongue into the corners of the evening,

Lingered upon the pools that stand in drains,

Let fall upon its back the soot that falls from chimneys,

Slipped by the terrace, made a sudden leap,

And seeing that it was a soft October night,

Curled once about the house, and fell asleep.

And indeed there will be time

For the yellow smoke that slides along the street

Rubbing its back upon the window-panes;…

In your mind, you can just picture a yellowish fog floating around a house, through a fence, or over the trees. His diction gives you a perfect image of the yellow fog. I believe that the ‘yellow fog’ is a metaphor symbolizing love. Love is slow, like the yellow fog it touches everything, it invades everything around it. There will always be time for love. There’s time for everything.

Another poetic device that El…

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…ces dying with a dying fall beneath the music from a farther room. So how should I presume?”; confusion in others, “Then how should I begin to spit out all the butt- ends of my days and ways’? And how should I presume?”; fear in others, “And I have seen the eternal Footman hold my coat, and snicker, and in short, I was afraid.”; and still loneliness in others, “I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each. I do not think that they will sing to me.” The entire poem is sad. He feels lost. He is not understood, he feels old, he wishes he made more of a splash before the ‘Footman’ comes to get him. He wishes he lived more, loved more, laughed more.

The Love Story of J. Alfied Prufrock emphasizes a man who has loved and lost someone he deeply cared about. But as the saying goes, “‘Tis better to have loved and lost, than to never have loved at all.”

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