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Not So Familial Bonds: The Fall Of A Dynasty

1382 words - 6 pages

There is an old saying that says that blood is thicker than water but I believe that many of the characters that were depicted in William Shakespeare’s Hamlet are not in support of this claim. There is Hamlet’s father, who was actually the king of Denmark up until his untimely demise, which was orchestrated by his own brother – the villainous Claudius. Hamlet’s mother Gertrude then goes on to marry his uncle, which shifts the power that would’ve been in Hamlet’s favor to Claudius, who then becomes the king of Denmark. The actions of Claudius and Gertrude send Hamlet through a whirlwind of emotions, from grief to revenge. He dislikes his mother and her decision of marrying Claudius so soon ...view middle of the document...

Through the exchange between the ghost and Hamlet, we learn that Claudius is everything but good. He is an evil, jealous hearted, hateful, greedy, corrupt, lustful being who killed his own brother for his own selfish reasons and gain. He gives you a different outlook on the familial bond between brothers and the familial bond between uncles and nephews. His plan was to actually send Hamlet into France and have him murdered in fear of Hamlet finding out what he had done to his father and him being the heir to the throne, which truly shows how treacherous and disgusting Claudius really was and the levels of extremities he would go through to have everything just the way he wanted it. Hamlet already knew what crimes his uncle had committed and instead of avenging his father’s death upon hearing the news, he continued to let it drag out which led me to believe that even though Hamlet wanted Claudius to pay for what he had done, he didn’t want it to be on his hands. He would’ve had to remember that for the rest of his life and it seemed that he still had some of those positive family ties to his uncle that he didn’t sever.
Queen Gertrude is a very interesting character, to say the least. Shortly after the king dies, she goes on to marry his brother, which caused me to wonder if she was in on the scheme or was she just naïve to what was happening around her. In the play there are no mentions or indications that Gertrude was Claudius’ mistress. Claudius never confides in her about the dirty deeds he commits and not once let her know how he felt about what transpired so I don’t believe Gertrude was an accomplice in any of this. She gives the familial bond between husband and wife a different meaning because she moved on quickly without even giving her time to grieve the loss of her husband. It was a common practice during this period for queens and kings to marry the siblings of the king or queen but I don’t think it was done this hastily. It seems to me that she lacked wisdom and was not great a judging a person’s character or reading between the lines. The fact that Claudius rushed the whole wedding was an immediate red flag. In spite of Gertrude’s shortcomings she did love her son and was often times upset throughout the play because she didn’t understand why he was treating her in such a disrespectful manner. When Hamlet finally reveals to his mother what the issue is, she says, “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 ...O speak to me no more; these words like daggars enter my ears; No more, sweet Hamlet!” (Shakespeare, 3.5.88-96), which shows the familial bond between mother and son is what it should be coming...

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