Ophelia And Gertrude Essay

1842 words - 7 pages

Ophelia and Gertrude. Two different women who seem to be trapped in the samecircumstances in relation to Hamlet.Gertrude, Hamlet's mother and the Queen of Denmark. She is married to the presentKing, Claudius, who is suspected by Hamlet to have killed his father, King Hamlet, who alsohappens to be Claudius's brother. Gerturde has somehow ended up in the plot of King Hamlet'sdeath and in the eyes of her son, seems to be a monster and an aide to an adulterating deed.Ophelia, the daughter of Polonius who is the King's trusted councilor and is later killedin the play and he forbids his daughter to see Hamlet because of the possibility that he beseechher name and her virginity. She truly loves Hamlet and is devastated when he shuns her andpretends to be mad.Hamlet's treatment towards these two women shapes and brings life to their charactersand eventually bring s an end to their characters as well.Gertrude is a kind and loving mother. The kind that guards after her son through thickand through thin and loves unconditionally. Hamlet had suspected her of aiding in the killing ofKing Hamlet. That will be discussed later.Her character is the one character in the play that I believe does not develop but ratherstays identical to the scene in which she is introduced(Act I, scene II). She is shown to be aquiet, 'stand by your man' type individual who is easily influenced.This is my belief because in the second scene of the play, Hamlet is shown to becrushed by his mother's hasty remarriage. If marriage within the family was common in the daysof Shakespeare, then this is understandable, but, in any other case, this would be consideredan act of betrayal that was obviously brought on by some outside pressure, probably fromClaudius.There is, however, a slight change in her personality that is not quite noticeable. At theend of the play, the King and Laertes(Polonius's son) have plotted to kill Hamlet for reasons thatare irrelevant to my point. One part of the plot was to have Hamlet drink out of a poisoned cup. Itso happens that, in some confusion, the Queen ends up with the cup in her hand. Even after theKing's warnings not to drink from the cup(she is unaware of the plot), she does. She does incomplete defiance of her husband's wishes. I have interpreted this in this way because of theline the Queen speaks before she drinks from the cup. 'I will, my lord, I pray you pardon me.'1This shows that in the case that she might have lived on and not died from the poison inher cup, we(the readers) would see a completely different woman had she found out about theplot by Claudius to not only kill King Hamlet, but young Hamlet as well.The one thing, I believe, that she would have stood up for is her son, if only she had hada chance.There is a large part of this play that seems to be lacking in information to providereason to this attitude.Hamlet meets with a ghost(seemingly that of his father) who tells him of Claudius's plotto kill him. After the ghost is done telling the...

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