Importance of Gertrude and Ophelia

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Carol James
Dr. Chris Walker
AP English Literature and Composition
27 January 2012
Importance of Gertrude and Ophelia
The love a man has for his mother and the love he has for his girlfriend/fiancé/wife are two different kinds of love that always seems to conflict one another. The mother and the female companion usually really like each other or they hate each other. In Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Gertrude and Ophelia has a steady relationship with each other. But Gertrude’s relationship Hamlet starts off as unhappy and ends with death. Throughout the play Hamlet is questioning Gertrude’s love for him and his father which cause their once steady relationship to shaken. For Ophelia and Hamlet, both were so in love, but later in the play shows Ophelia worrying about Hamlet and her love for him slowly diminishing. Gertrude and Ophelia have their own important role in the play with how they affect Hamlet’s decisions all through the play. Hamlet’s mother, Gertrude, begins the play with Hamlet upset with her for marrying his uncle, Claudius. She does not see what is wrong with the marriage and tries to tell Hamlet to get over his father’s death. The Act I clearly show that Gertrude’s and Hamlet’s mother-son relationship will never as it once was. Gertrude still tries to help Hamlet throughout the play by trying to convince Claudius to leave Hamlet alone and that Hamlet feels guilt for what he has done. Hamlet hesitate killing Claudius because he is now Gertrude’s husband and Hamlet may unconsciously feel a connection with Claudius as his stand by father. If Gertrude never married Claudius, then Hamlet would probably have the confidence to kill Claudius when he found out that he was the one that killed his father. All through the play Gertrude protects Hamlet. She unknowingly adds fuel to the flame that is Hamlet’s detestation for the marriage. With Gertrude playing the “victim” in Claudius’, Hamlet has someone who will remain faithful to him. If Gertrude knew about...
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