An analysis of Gertrude, Hamlet's Mother
Gertrude is also a very sexual being, and it is her sexuality that turns Hamlet so violently against her. And Claudius has indeed, according to the Ghost, contaminated his precious Gertrude, but this . Hamlet's Relationship with the Ghost. Turning to Prince Hamlet, Claudius asks why “the clouds still hang” upon him, as Hamlet is still wearing black mourning clothes (posavski-obzor.info). Gertrude urges him to. Was she having an affair with Claudius before the death of Old Hamlet? Does Gertrude know that Claudius killed her former husband? Why does she drink the .
It is only Claudius who has broken the Christian adultery commandment, having done so by his desire for Gertrude. The Ghost repeatedly accuses him quite specifically of adultery. The Ghost never once accuses Gertrude of adultery but only draws attention to her weakness of character in marrying Claudius, thus breaking her solemn vow that she would never remarry.
Claudius said he murdered King Hamlet: If Claudius and Gertrude were having an affair before the murder, then he already has her, therefore, hardly a motive for murder.
Getting Gertrude would not be an issue and hardly worth mentioning! Also, if their affair had been going along before the murder why the need for their o'erhasty marriage after the murder? There would be no need to hurry. She drinks a cup of poison intended for Hamlet by the King, against the King's wishes, and dies, shouting in agony as she falls: When the Ghost of her former husband appears to Hamlet, he describes her as a "seeming virtuous queen", but orders Hamlet not to confront her about it and leave her judgement to heaven.
However, he also expresses that his love for her was benevolent as he states that he would have held back the elements if they "visited her face too roughly". Hamlet sees her as an example of the weakness of women which affects his relationship with Ophelia and constantly hurt in his reflections of how quickly less than a month she remarried.
Interpretations[ edit ] There have been numerous attempts to account for Gertrude's state of mind during the play.
Gertrude - relationship
It could be argued that as she does not confess to any sins before she dies, she did not participate in her husband's murder. However, other considerations do point to Gertrude's complicity.
After repeated erratic threats towards his mother to no response, Hamlet threatens to discover the true nature of Gertrude's character by setting up a mirror, at which point she projects a killer: You go not till I set you up a glass where you may see the inmost part of you. The Ghost gives Hamlet, who is already disgusted with his mother for marrying his uncle such a short time after his father's death, even more disturbing information about the Queen: Ay, that incestuous, that adulterate beast, With witchcraft of his wit, with traitorous gifts,-- O wicked wit, and gifts that have the power So to seduce!
This would make the Queen a far more loathsome character than Shakespeare had intended, and the rest of the play makes no mention of this adultery. Adulterate, by definition, means to change to a worse state by mixing; to contaminate with base matter.
And Claudius has indeed, according to the Ghost, contaminated his precious Gertrude, but this does not mean that Claudius did so before Hamlet's father died. If Gertrude were an adulteress, she would have been almost certainly been involved in Claudius' plot of murder, and therefore she would be the play's villainess and not its child-like victim.
Claudius would believe her to be an accomplice and confide in her, but he does not. Moreover, if it were true, it most surely would be foremost on Hamlet's mind, but when Hamlet confronts Gertrude in her closet and announces all her crimes, he does not once even imply that she has committed adultery.
And, as Olav Lokse points out in his book Outrageous Fortune: Draper] also draws attention to the Ghost's complaint that he was "Of life, of crown, of queen at once dispatch'd" I.
She lies to herself about the consequences of her actions, and she lies to those around her. But she lies to protect.