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Hamlet’s nature of relationship with other women is greatly determined by how he relates with his mother. He develops a deep…
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HAMLET’S RELATIONSHIP WITH GERTRUDE The relationship between Hamlet and his mother Gertrude is regarded as the important in Shakespeare’s play Hamlet besides being textually shaky. Hamlet’s nature of relationship with other women is greatly determined by how he relates with his mother. He develops a deep feeling of betrayal by his mother and as a result, he is unable to trust other people close to him such Ophelia whom he ought to be confiding in. Hamlet’s soliloquy in Act 1 scene 2 expresses his lack of trust for other women and betrayal by his mother. He clearly says that, "frailty thy name is woman" and his reason for saying so, stems from the fact that he is in deep state of confusion due to the conduct of her mother. She does not consider her mother to be weak in the physical state but in the emotional state (In Leavenworth, 1960, 34). 
Hamlet developed a different opinion of romance and love after her mother accepted to marry his uncle shortly, “two months dead” (138). Gertrude makes Hamlet change his earlier belief that those in love need to hang on one another despite the prevailing challenges. He therefore believes that the action of Gertrude was a betrayal not just to his father but to the whole institution of marriage and love in general (Crowl, 2014, 138-139).  She had shown a lot of affection towards his late father which is evident in the statement, "Why, she would hang on him As if increase of appetite had grown By what it fed on" but she seems to have quickly forgotten that and was now deeply in love with Claudius. He regards her mother’s action as sign of poor judgment and an act of sheer cowardice (Howard, 2007, 67). The fact that she quickly gives in to the advances if Claudius is an indication that she never loved Hamlet’s father after all which angers Hamlet and increase her hatred towards her. Her action seems to confirm his suspicion that Gertrude and Claudius were having an affair before the death of his father and he suspects that they might have contributed to his untimely death. Hamlet makes a comparison of his mother moving from his late father to Claudius as one moving from the loving arms of the gods to the animals, "So excellent a king; that was, to this, Hyperion to a satyr" (Shakespeare, Act 1, scene 2). He is quick to judge his mother as being very foolish and uncaring.
On her part, Gertrude considers her action as being innocent and not based on any form of malice or insincere motive and wonders how she has been misunderstood by her son. The story shows some evidence that Gertrude got into a relationship with Claudius as a means of seeking safety and calmness in her most difficult moment in life (Russell, 1995, 23-24). She seeks to attain the best in life and demands to continue enjoying the beautiful life that royalty had offered her. This is a clear indication that she values her own safety and peace of mind more than that of those close to him such as Hamlet. Instead of Hamlet directing his anger towards his uncle, he mistakenly directs them to his mother which demonstrates his confused state of affairs and inability to confront his own fears.
References
Crowl, S. (2014). Shakespeares Hamlet: The relationship between text and film.
Hamlet: A Study Commentary. (2003). WordSmith at LitWorks.com.
Howard, T. (2007). Women as Hamlet: Performance and interpretation in theatre, film and literature. Cambridge [u.a.: Cambridge Univ. Press.
In Leavenworth, R. E. (1960). Interpreting Hamlet; materials for analysis. San Francisco: H. Chandler.
Russell, J. (1995). Hamlet and Narcissus. Newark: University of Delaware Press.
Shakespeare, William. 2004. Hamlet. Logan, Iowa: Perfection Learning Corp.
Wilson, J. D., & Rouben Mamoulian Collection (Library of Congress). (1959). What happens in Hamlet. Cambridge [England: University Press. Read More
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