Essay on Hamlet

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In William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, the Queen, Gertrude, disapproves of her son, Hamlet’s, behavior. She tries to encourage him to love and accept his new King and step-father, Claudius as much as she does. Resolving this conflict demonstrates that overcoming a conflict can bring a mother and son closer together than ever before. After the death of her husband, Gertrude immediately remarries to his brother, Claudius. As one can imagine, this made Hamlet very upset that his own mother could get over her husband’s death and remarry all in the span of just two months. Gertrude defends her quick remarriage by stating, “Do not for ever with thy vailed lids / Seek for thy noble father in the dust” (1.2.74-75). Gertrude is explaining to Hamlet that two months is plenty of time to mourn and be at peace with his father’s death. Claudius goes on to say, “But to persever / In obstinate condolement is a course / Of impious stubbornness. ‘Tis unmanly grief” (1.2.98-100). Claudius is reinforcing Gertrude’s explanation by insulting Hamlet and calling him childish. This only enforces Hamlet’s hate for Claudius. Gertrude tries to console Hamlet by saying, “Let not thy mother lose her prayers, Hamlet: / I pray thee stay with us, go not to Wittenberg” (1.2.124-125). This shows that Gertrude wants Hamlet to stay and understand her reasoning. By saying that she prays, Gertrude shows Hamlet that she really does care about him. Later when Gertrude attends Hamlet’s play, she says, “Come hither, my dear Hamlet, sit by me” (3.2.109). By asking Hamlet to sit next to her, Gertrude is showing that she wants to bond with Hamlet. But because Hamlet doesn’t, it is hard for Gertrude to be able to express her feelings and thoughts on the situation. Later on, in the major scene between Gertrude and Hamlet in the royal bedroom, Gertrude tries to present her troubles with Hamlet’s behavior lately. Gertrude tells Hamlet, “thou hast thy father much offended” (3.4.10). In response to Hamlet’s sassy comment, Gertrude calls him mad by saying, “you answer with an idle tongue” (3.4.12). By calling him crazy, Gertrude shows that there is no other way to explain his actions. Gertrude continues the conversation by asking multiple questions such as, “What have I done that thou dar’st wag thy / tongue / In noise so rude against me” (3.4.46-48). By asking these types of clueless questions, Gertrude is showing Hamlet that she doesn’t see anything wrong with her remarriage and Hamlet is completely overreacting to the situation. However, after Hamlet keeps heckling her and accusing her of incestuous acts, Gertrude responds by saying, “O, speak to me no more! / These words like daggers enter in mine ears” (3.4.107-108). This plea for silence shows that Gertrude might feel guilty for her actions. She can’t stand hearing her son accuse her of doing such disgusting, yet truthful acts. While Gertrude could or couldn’t be using these clueless acts to cover up her incestuous doings, Hamlet still interprets his mother’s actions as being disgusting and cruel-hearted. After Gertrude and Claudius insult Hamlet for not getting over his father’s death, Hamlet has a soliloquy in which he states, “Within a month, / Ere yet the salt of most unrighteous tears / Had left the flushing in her galled eyes, / She married. O, most wicked speed” (1.2.159-162). By calling his mother’s tears “unrighteous” shows that Hamlet didn’t feel that his mother cared about his father at all. He describes the speed at which she got over his death as “wicked”, which implies that Hamlet finds his mother’s response very cruel and evil. Later while sitting with Ophelia at his play, he again emphasizes the miraculously short mourning Gertrude felt for the King’s death by saying, “For look you how cheerfully my mother / looks, and my father died within ‘s two hours” (3.2.125-126). By using a hyperbole and saying his father died two hours ago shows that Hamlet feels that his mother has gotten over the death...
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