Last Updated 20 Jun 2022

Relationship of Hamlet and Gertrude

Category Gertrude, Hamlet, Ophelia
Words 456 (1 page)
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In the Shakespearean play Hamlet, the conflict between Hamlet and his mother, Gertrude, is parallel to the main conflict of the story. Hamlet is motivated to avenge by the ghost after he is upset when Gertrude marries Claudius. Hamlet’s view of society, especially women, is also shaped by his mother’s decisions, thus developing his character; Hamlets character is shown as indecisive when he decides to confront his mother. As the play starts, Hamlet is disappointed with his mother’s marriage to Claudius.

He expresses his disagreement by complaining about Gertrude marrying Claudius within two month of his father’s death. In act one of the play, Hamlet says, “O most wicked speed, to post with such dexterity to incestuous sheets! It is not nor it cannot come to good, But break, my heart, for I must hold my tongue”(1. 2. 156-8). Here Hamlet reveals his discomfort with his mother’s relationship which leads to his wanting to get revenge. But at that point, the Ghost of King Hamlet appears to give him an ultimate purpose of avenging his death.

Through the play, Hamlet works toward accomplishing that goal driven by discomfort toward Gertrude’s relation with Claudius. Hamlet makes social comment about women that are negative in nature. He usually makes those comments to Ophelia, for example when he tells her to go to the “nunnery”. These comments however are fueled by his anger toward his mother. At the beginning of the play he sees Ophelia as a pure woman, but his view changes over time. This is a reflection of his view toward his mother as apparent by Hamlet’s remark about his mother’s relationship with Claudius.

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At first Hamlet is not sure about why his mother married Claudius, but he quickly decides that the decision his mother made was based on women’s weak mind. The weakness of women is a social bias of Shakespearean plays. Hamlet decides that he is not going to confront his mother at the beginning of the play, after he sees Claudius feeling guilty about his murder; Hamlet chooses to confront his mother and tell her the truth because he trusts her. Even then his mother does not believe him and thinks he is crazy. This shows that Gertrude is not on Hamlet’s side but on Claudius’s side.

This fuels Hamlet’s anger toward Claudius even more. Also Hamlets change in mind to trust his mother shows his indecisive character, which develops through the play. The relationship between Gertrude and Hamlet is never made completely clear during the play. Hamlet’s dislike of his mother’s relationship with Claudius is very clear however. While Hamlet is motivated to avenge his father’s death by Gertrude’s action, he is uncertain about whether it his completely his mother’s fault as seen by him trusting his mother.

Relationship of Hamlet and Gertrude essay

Related Questions

on Relationship of Hamlet and Gertrude

How did Gertrude betray hamlet?

Gertrude betrays Hamlet by marrying Cladius so quickly after his father's death. Hamlet betrays Laertes by killing Polonius, and after he does this Laertes also betrays Hamlet by remaining loyal to Cladius. Regarding this, how does betrayal contribute to the meaning of Hamlet?

How does hamlet treat Ophelia and Gertrude?

Hamlet's treatment towards these two women shapes and brings life to their characters and 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 thick and through thin and loves unconditionally. Hamlet had suspected her of aiding in the killing of King Hamlet.

How are Hamlet and King Gertrude related?

Focussing on key quotations and theatrical interpretations, Tamara Tubb explores the character of Gertrude in Hamlet and her role within the play. Gertrude is Hamlet’s mother and Queen of Denmark. She was married to the murdered King Hamlet (represented by the Ghost in the play) and has subsequently wed Claudius, his brother.

What does hamlet advice Gertrude to do?

Seek for thy noble father in the dust. Passing through nature to eternity. Gertrude directs these words to Hamlet in an attempt to comfort him and bring an end to his grief. For his part, Hamlet interprets Gertrude’s lines as evidence that his “cold mother” does not feel any grief about her late husband’s passing.

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