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Role of Gertrude in Hamlet's tragedy - Essay Example

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Name Role of Gertrude in Hamlet’s Tragedy Hamlet is one of the greatest plays of the 16th century with manifold meanings explored by the academia even after almost five centuries. This powerful tragedy revolves around Hamlet’s madness which is basically due to his father’s death and his uncle’s usurpation of the throne by marrying his mother…
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Role of Gertrude in Hamlet's tragedy

Download file to see previous pages... He eventually takes it up as a mission to reveal it to the public in different ways like conducting a play (within Hamlet) for the audience, in the hope that those with insight would see the truth for themselves. He cannot repeat the same act of killing because he has a soft heart. This makes him even madder. He attempts to kill Claudius but gets into an argument with himself. Throughout the play he fights with himself, questioning his existence, wondering if he is his father’s son or his uncle’s. He wonders if his mother is really mourning her husband’s death or is she faking it. He doubts his own emotions towards Ophelia and shares all his grieves with his only friend Horatio. Obsessed by his madness he attempts to confront his mother, Gertrude. In that scene he accidentally kills Polonius, an act that adds to his insanity. We confront another death in the play and our eyes seek for a person to step forward and claim the cause of tragedy. It is Gertrude who seems to have more weight than the rest of the major characters and this paper will explore her role in the play. Queen Gertrude, Hamlet’s mother appears in ten of the play’s twenty scenes, but speaks lesser than Ophelia, Hamlet’s lover. She is considered to be an innocent character in the play. She is said to be completely unaware of the murder of her first husband. Her very first appearance in Hamlet takes place in Act I Scene ii, with King Claudius who lets the audience know that he has married his brother’s widow. Her silence gives way to the lunacy Hamlet experiences. She also finds fault in her son to be still grieving on his father’s death. Gertrude’s politeness and innocence is the very sting that complicates matters. Hamlet is expecting more than this. He is expecting his mother to wail and resist the changing state of affairs. When he lashes out at her in response to her inquiry, she becomes concerned about his condition and speaks as if confessing her sins: O Hamlet, speak no more: Thou turn’st my very eyes into my soul, And there I see such black and grained spots As will not leave their tinct (III.iv) And again: O speak to me no more; these words like daggar enter my ears; No more, sweet Hamlet! Hamlet’s words are like a dagger entering her ears but as the ghost appears and she does not see it, she calls him mad. The situation could not be any better. We can see her at another instance, high spirited, hoping that her efforts to heal Hamlet, with the rest are going to work out. She is the antithesis of her son. She sees her penitence as a result of her son’s harsh words and not as a consequence of her own actions. She is too weak to make a decision of her own and relies on others to give instructions. It seems wise to ask “What shall I do” in response to Hamlet’s accusations. She remains submissive or at least she pretends she is when Hamlet sarcastically bids her to keep the King away from her bed and do not consider her son as mad. Not this, by no means that I bid you do: Let the bloat King… Make you to ravel all this matter out, That I am essentially not in madness, But mad in craft. ‘Twere good you let him know, For who that’s but a queen, fair, sober, wise, Would from a paddock, from a bat, a gib, Such dear ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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