Problematic Gertrude Essay

1062 words - 5 pages

In William Shakespeare's Hamlet, Gertrude is a woman who is also a queen that harms no one but the terrible comprehension to the situation at hand greatly affect the outcome of events. Out of the two female characters in Hamlet, Gertrude and Ophelia, are not self-confident. The actions of Gertrude will indefinitely lead up to the demise of her and some other characters in the play.

The readers first see that in Act 1, Scene 2 the poor judgment of her character is her biggest flaw. A regular mother to a grieving child should know that a child needs their mother to get pass this terrible event and Gertrude does not notice how insensitive she is being to Hamlet. She should of known that ...view middle of the document...

Gertrude honestly believes that the only thing that is bothering Hamlet is that she and Claudius married to quickly and if they would have waited and gave Hamlet more time to grieve for his loss; then he would of reacted to the situation better. Gertrude believes that love is the answer to everything and will not attempt to see Hamlet's concept on the marriage. She shows parts of her flaw in Act III scene 1 when talking to Ophelia about Hamlet saying that his madness stems from the love he has for Ophelia. This show that her romantic outlook on things continues to blind her from the truth in front of her.

Hamlet's incredible belief in the fact that his mother has something to do with the death of his father makes him lash out at Ophelia who he sees as another insincere woman like his mother. Hamlet uses the play within the play to attack his mother's conscience. However it backfires on him when he sees that his mother reacted casually to the play. Gertrude does not show guilt about her relationship with Claudius but instead, she has a very practical approach to the Player Queen: "The lady doth protest too much, methinks" (III.ii 236). Gertrude is realistic enough to say that in real life, a widow would easily want to remarry, and that this is why the Player Queen is not a believable character. This is another example that Gertrude can't or refuses to see how other people are affected by her.

Even after Hamlet's aggressive questioning, Gertrude still couldn't make the connection to her marriage and the play: "...true to her nature, she makes no application of the Player Queen's situation to herself. She does not take personally representations of sin and weakness"(Cohen, p. 86). The queen's reaction to the play also shows that she is unaware of the current king's guilt. Though Gertrude wants to know why Claudius left so quickly, she is much more interested in on how Claudius is feeling after...

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