Hamlet Essay

1266 words - 5 pages

Hamlet: Ophelia and Gertrude

Ophelia and Gertrude, two different women who seem to be trapped in the same situation when it comes to Hamlet. Gertrude, Hamlet's mother and the Queen of Denmark is married to Claudius, who is suspected by Hamlet to have killed his father, King Hamlet, who is Claudius's brother. Gertrude ended up in the plot of King Hamlet's death and in the eyes of her son, is a monster and helped with the murder. Ophelia, the daughter of Polonius who is the King's counselor and is later killed in the play and has forbidden his daughter to see Hamlet. She truly loves Hamlet and is devastated when he disowns her and pretends to be mad. Hamlet's treatment towards these two women brings their characters to life and eventually brings an end to them.
Gertrude is a kind and loving mother, the kind that watches after her son through thick and thin and loves him unconditionally. Hamlet had suspected her of aiding in the killing of King Hamlet. She is shown to be a quiet, “stand with your man” type person who is influenced easily. However, there is a slight change in her personality that isn’t too noticeable. At the end of the play, the King and Laertes have plotted to kill Hamlet. One part of the plot was to have Hamlet drink out of a poisoned cup but in the confusion of it all, the Queen ends up with the cup in her hand. Even after the King's warnings not to drink from it she does. She does this and completely defies her husband's wishes by saying before she drinks from the cup, “I will, my lord, I pray you pardon me.” I think this shows that if she wouldn’t have died from the poison, Gertrude may have been a completely different woman had she found out about Claudius’s plot about killing King Hamlet and young Hamlet as well. I believe that she would have stood up for her son if she had a chance to. Hamlet meets with his father’s ghost who tells him of Claudius's plot to kill him. After the ghost is done telling his story, he tells Hamlet to punish only Claudius, but "Taint not thy mind nor let thy soul contrive against thy mother aught. Leave her to heaven". He was trying to tell Hamlet to only punish Claudius. The one other time in the play that we see the Queen standing up for herself or actually arguing is when she and Polonius decide to confront Hamlet on his behavior toward the King. Since the revealing of Claudius's involvement in Hamlet's father's death, Hamlet has been pretending to be crazy. Here, the Queen is very strict and angry which irritates Hamlet. He threatens her and after some confusion, Hamlet kills Polonius who is hiding behind the curtain listening to the conversation. This gets Laertes in the plot to kill Hamlet. In this scene even though Hamlet threatened her, she still loved him and treated him the same way that she had treated him before the confrontation.
Ophelia is a young lady born to the King's faithful advisor, Polonius and sister to Laertes. The first time we see Ophelia in the play is in...

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