Betrayal: A Prelude to Hamlet from the Perspective of Queen Gertrude

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(A prelude to Hamlet from the perspective of Queen Gertrude) Sharyna Labrecque

I know I shouldn't have, but one doesn't always do what one knows is right. I suppose I was bored of regular court life and looking for some excitement. My husband, the king, is always so occupied with affairs of state. Although he loves me, he doesn’t seem to notice me most of the time. The king is a good man but I would like a bit of intrigue in our relationship. A relationship, in my opinion, should be exciting and cause your heart to flutter every once in a while. When Claudius, the king's brother, first began making advances to me, I was flattered and felt like I had not felt in years. There was the excitement that came from courting danger, and he is a dangerous man. He was a man to which one would think twice before saying “no” to. I convinced myself that it would be alright. Just a look, then a touch, then a kiss. Why do I feel so guilty then? I suppose if it had remained a lighthearted romance, it wouldn't be so bad. It had all happened so quickly, one minute things were innocent, and the next minute we were in my bed. Oh why did I let it go so far? I never wanted this to happen? What vanity has led me to this? What would my husband say or do if he found out? He would have his brother executed immediately. But he would never do such a thing to me, he loves me too much. Perhaps I should I confess the whole affair to my husband and beg his forgiveness and understanding. Perhaps he would spare his brother's life, but he would surely be imprisoned for life. What have I done? What will come of my wayward actions? I must do it! I must tell my husband! My game must end before something more evil comes of it.

The queen’s inner turmoil was interrupted as Mary, one of her ladies-in-waiting, bursts through the door of her bed-chamber, “My lady! My lady! The king is ...! Oh you must make haste, my queen!” After this brief, verbal explosion, Mary fled back down the...
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