Thesis: Gertrude is a powerful woman who does what she thinks is right for her and can forfeit her life for her loved one.
- Gertrude’s character:
- Her immoral actions of committing murder
- Her love for her son
- Hamlets anger
- Hamlets reaction after the mother’s remarriage
Women of power have the mandate to do what they feel is right, and they can do anything to safeguard their family.. Gertrude is the queen of the Denmark and she is the mother of Hamlet the prince of Denmark. She was married to Hamlet the king of Denmark where after his death she was then married to Claudia the brother of the former king. Claudia is the one who takes after Hamlet and then he becomes the king of Denmark. Gertrude was married to Claudia two weeks after the death of her husband. Her son Hamlet was satisfied by his mother’s decision. Gertrude is an adulterer because she always had an affair with the current king even before the husband is dead. Gertrude realizes her mistake of remarrying so quickly after hamlet scolds so mercilessly to her. She is a caring mother because she did her best to protect her son. This is seen when she accepts the son’s appeal to no longer share the king’s Claudia bed and also promised the son that she will hide the truth from King Claudia (Shakespeare& Mueller 52).
Gertrude is also a murdered because she collaborated with King Claudia in killing king hamlet. Queen Gertrude remarried two weeks after her husband’s death. She married the brother to king hamlet who became the king of Denmark. Gertrude and King Claudia were lovers even before her husband had died. They used to have an affair behind her husbands back where they decided to get married immediately after the death of her husband. The two killed king hamlet so that they can continue with their affair openly. The son was distressed with her mother’s action for remarrying so quickly and more so to his uncle who he believes is the one who is responsible for his father’s death (Shakespeare & Durband 67). He lacks respect for his mother and developed so much hatred towards his uncle. Gertrude was so much in love with Claudius in that she always defended him when the son bad mouths him. She always remained loyal to him even though her love for Claudius is wrong by moral standards. She protects her husband from the mob in that she was forced to lie so as to protect her family. She was concerned for a son in the duel even though she never knew that it was just a trap.
Even though Gertrude told the king about her son’s killing, she tried her best to protect him from Claudius. It hurts her to see her son being disturbed by the marriage and his father’s death. When the son started acting like a man, she did set a commission of inquiry to investigate the cause of the son’s behaviors. She was also interested in knowing her son’s plan about the king. She could not bear seeing her husband hurt as well as her son. She is a mother who cared about her family in the she would use lies to protect her family. Although she was pissed with her son’s disrespect, she never turned her back on him at any one time.
She was there for her son when he passed through difficulty moments in his life. Gertrude’s act clearly shows her love for her son who according to the play was the only child. Gertrude did not allow the king to hurt her son even though he was the king. She eliminated those who were against her son and made sure that they did not do any harm to him.
Hamlet the son of Claudia was not happy with what had happened. His father’s death traumatized him but his mother’s marriage to his uncle depressed him more. He so much protested on his mother’s act. This action made him develop so much hatred to his uncle who is the current king of Denmark. He believed that Claudius was the one responsible for his father’s death. It did hurt him seeing his other getting married to the killer. His mother’s marriage brought about the suspicion that she was also involved in the killing. It was not logical to him that somebody could remarry immediately after his or her spouse’s death. He was also disturbed by the fact that his mother did not mourn much when his father passed on. Hamlet’s hatred for his uncle was proven when he stubbed Polonius thinking that it was Claudius who was hiding in the arras (Shakespeare & Durband 45).
This happened when his mother called him in her house so that she can know what exactly disturbed his son. After Gertrude yelled to her son that she might kill him and the son shouted in protest, Polonius who was hiding made noise whereby hamlet turned to his hiding place and stubbed him thinking it was Claudius the king. His mother’s remarriage made him disrespect the mother in that he was addressing like the queen of the country by calling her madam instead of mum. Nevertheless, hamlet has some grudge with his uncle and he aspires to revenge for his father’s death. When the king finds that his nephew hates him that much and he has desires to revenge, he strikes deals of doing away with him so that he will have no room of revenging. He sets hamlet’s closets friend’s to investigate on his plans and then kill him so that he cannot pursue his plans.
Gertrude had a feeling that his son’s behaviors are out of his madness and not his normal state. It crossed her mind that her son is insane when he stubbed Polonius out of his anger. Her thought about the son’s madness made her inform her husband about the murder her son committed though there was an agreement that she should not tell the king about the killing. Although she told the king about the killing, she protected the son from anything bad happening to her. When the king had the plans of poisoning hamlet, she decided to take the poison herself and die rather than the son dying (Shakespeare& Balistreri 15). She portrays her love for her son in that she would do anything for the sake of her son’s safety. This shows how loving and caring she is to her family.
Gertrude the queen of Denmark is examined as a murderer. This is because she is believed to be responsible of Ophelia’s death and the death of her husband. She is a murderer because she witnessed the death of Ophelia and she did not help her out of the danger. Gertrude watched Ophelia drown until she died. She all along believed that her son’s madness was caused by his girlfriend Ophelia (Shakespeare Forrest& Timmins 72). Gertrude was also not pleased with Ophelia’s action of betraying her son by joining hands with the king to investigate and kill him. Ophelia changed her mind on hamlet after her father’s death which was performed by her boyfriend. Gertrude was the one who delivered notice of the Ophelia’s death which brings suspicion in her involvement. In addition, she was the one who killed her husband. In the play, as they both were expressing love to one another, she pretends to be so much in love with him but she had a hidden intention. This is where she laid him and poured poison in his ear and Claudius walked and got away the crown from hamlet. Gertrude was the one who got the crown from him, kissed him and gave it his brother who she got married to later. After the husband is dead, she pretended to mourn for few days but in her heart it was a smile of the fortune. Due to her sex many people including her son did not suspect her for the king’s death. Claudius was the one people suspected of the king’s death.
In conclusion Gertrude is the queen and the mother of hamlet who is the prince of Denmark. She is an immoral woman but she is still a caring mother. She is involved in a number of killings which include her husband’s and her son’s girlfriend. She collaborated with Claudia to kill her husband because she seems not to have loved him. Ion play she is seen to have affairs with her husband’s brother even before the husband had died. Although she had an affair with him she is not termed as an adulteress because she got married to Claudia after the husband had died. This act of getting married immediately after her husband’s death did not please her son. This is because the son believed that his uncle was the one responsible with his father’s death. This is why she was so much traumatized with their marriage. The son also suspected that his mother might have been involved in the same.
Gertrude was also the one responsible for Ophelia’s death. She was there when the girl lost her life without saving her. She was `also the one who delivered the notice about her death and this makes her look guilty. Apart from Gertrude’s evil behaviors, she was a caring and loving mother. Her care for her son is seen when she protects the son from the king. It irritates her seeing her son being traumatized because of what happened that is her marriage and his father’s death. Even if her son hated her husband, she still loved him and protected him. She also shows her to the son when she takes the poison that was meant for her son. She decided to die herself rather than her son. She died without saying a word about the country though she new that there were some corruption going on in the country. This highly shows love for her family.
Noel B., Hamlet Studies, Vikas Pub. Michigan, 2008, 56-89.
Shakespeare H., Forrest E. & Timmins S., Hamlet, Sampson Low, New York, 2003, 45-87.
Shakespeare W. & Balistreri F. Hamlet, Heinemann, New York, 2004, 12-76.
Shakespeare W. & Durband, Hamlet: Shakespeare Made Easy ,.Nelson Thornes Texas, 2000, 35-89.
Shakespeare W. & Mueller J., Hamlet : Prince of Denmark, Barron’s educational series, California, 2002, 34-67.