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William Shakespeare composed the play Hamlet, around 1600-1601. This play, named after his only son, in my opinion is one of Shakespeare’s best works. The play shows the literal as well as the realistic sides of people during this culture as well as those generations to come. During the play, Hamlet’s character went through several different transitions. In the beginning he was shown as a child, by his actions and curiosity, but towards the end of play his manhood begins surface and he begins to be aggressive at getting what he wants.
Hamlet is full of mysterious relationships. Hamlets relationship with his so called friends (Rosencrantz and Guildenstern), his relationship with Ophelia (he proclaims his love at the end) and certainly his relationship with his father/uncle Claudius are all very mysterious in how they’re played out through their characters in the play. The relationship that stood out in my mind was the one between Hamlet and his mother Gertrude.
Although Gertrude is the person that Hamlet has the most inner conflict with, he still loves his mother as most children do. As a mother figure, Gertrude is supposed to be the perfect one- with out any impurities or errors. When Hamlet realizes that his mother is a flawed, sinful women, who’s sexual appetite is so deviant she takes on her brother in-law, Hamlets whole view changes. How could the women who just buried her husband become a blushing bride so rapidly? After Hamlet contemplates all of this, how can he trust any woman when his own mother betrayed his father?
When Hamlet has thoughts of his mother he is affected both emotionally and psychologically. He is affected emotionally because it is his mother, his own blood that is apart of the betrayal against his own father. Deep down inside Hamlet is being eaten alive by the idea of family turning against family. Hamlet is affected psychologically because he begins to breakdown and has to acknowledge the fact that the murder of his father has taken place and that his mother acts as if nothing has happened and even weds the villain.
I truly believe that Gertrude may not have been apart of the killing of her late husband Hamlet Sr. but she seems like the type of female who has no opinion or say so of her own. During the scene where Hamlet and Laertes fight in Ophelia’s grave, death is the charge to show who loved Ophelia the most. Instead of stopping the fight and telling Hamlet to regain his senses and that Laertes is Ophelia’s brother she stands there and does nothing. I believe that Gertrude was a poor excuse for a mother in this play, because she made everything center around her new king instead of her own child.
I have heard of your paintings too well enough God has given you one face and you make yourselves another: you jig, you amble, and you lisp, and nickname Gods creatures and make your wantonness your ignorance. Go do, I’ll no more on’t; it hath made me mad. I say we will have no more marriages; those that are married already all but one shall live: the rest shall keep as they are. To a nunnery go.” Act three scene one to Ophelia
The above statement begins the first reflection of how Hamlet feels about women. He says that God gives women one face, but women play with another. They betray people, lie and commit sins (incestuous). He says that no one should ever be married for their marriage will be based on lies, without truth and without pure genuine love. Hamlet begins to show what he thinks of women by suggesting that they should all belong to nunneries (in this case a nunnery is said to be a whore house).
Hamlets attitude towards women begins to rise through the play and begins in act three scene one where he tells Ophelia that he never loved her, and that she should get thee to a nunnery and never be a breeder of sinners. He suggests that all women are sinners and that they should not be able to breed more women because women are all deceitful and never trustworthy.
Family, according to Hamlet should be the first priority in everyone’s life. Now that his family has been torn apart, his attitude has changed wholeheartedly. He believes that all families are betrayed in some way since his family was. He believes that the world is full of deceitful people who all wear masque and never show their true selves.
Gertrude is still own Hamlets mind. In act three scene two, Hamlet and Ophelia are watching the play. Hamlet makes suggestions to how he feels about women, mostly his mother. When Ophelia asks Hamlet about the length of the prologue he says it is short just like a women’ love. That line is probably suggested to his mother and the time she took to re-wed after her husband’s death.
In Act three scene four, Hamlet has begun his talk with his mother. He is so upset with his mother that he over re-acts and the ghost of his father appears to remind him of why he was there. Gertrude senses Hamlets anger after he kills Polonius and asked what have I done? Hamlets reply was one full of grief, anxiety and anger. He begins to tell his mother of what he knows and what he expects from her. Not to share her bed with Claudius as well as take part in any more corruption. Gertrude then begins to see that her son is not mad with sickness, but is more mad with anger over her stupidity. Hamlet has let his mother become his main role model for all women in the world and that is why he is so negative towards women.
Gertrude has influenced Hamlet more then anyone in the play. Although the influence is negative, it has made Hamlet look at other sides of people and take them for what they are. He has a better out look on life even though it has cost him greatly.