Shakespeare's Hamlet: Similarities Between Gertrude And Ophelia

Good Essays
In the play Hamlet by William Shakespeare, the protagonist, Hamlet, is deprived of support from his mother, Gertrude, and his love interest, Ophelia. Gertrude and Ophelia display many similar characteristics and face similar challenges in the first act of the play. Both Gertrude and Ophelia are naive and at times oblivious to other people’s motivations and feelings, especially those of Hamlet. In addition, Gertrude and Ophelia’s families are averse to the people that they each love. Finally, both of them are ridiculed by a family member in Act I. The similarities between Gertrude and Ophelia in Act I reflect the way in which both characters are weak and therefore unable to assist Hamlet in his time of need.
Both Gertrude and Ophelia are naive and oblivious. When Gertrude speaks to Hamlet about the death of Hamlet’s father, Hamlet Sr., Gertrude seems oblivious as to how sad Hamlet is. Gertrude tells Hamlet that death is a common occurrence and then asks him, “ If it be, why seems it so particular with thee?” (I.ii.77-78) Gertrude asks Hamlet why the
…show more content…
They are oblivious to those they love, and they are ridiculed by their family members, and as a result, they are unable to help Hamlet. Both Gertrude and Ophelia act naive and, at times, oblivious to Hamlet and his needs and his pain. The characters also both love men who are disliked by their family members showing their weakness in the face of their family members. Finally, both characters have family members who make caustic remarks about them. Gertrude and Ophelia’s similarities showcase the difficult situation that Hamlet is in. The two characters who should support him, Gertrude and Ophelia, are both too weak to support him. Since they are weak and unable to help Hamlet, Hamlet has to deal with his father’s death on his own and take matters into his own hands which ultimately leads to the death of Polonius, Laertes, Claudius, and even Hamlet

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Better Essays

    Heroes and Their Hamartia Hamlet by William Shakespeare is a classic example of a literary tragedy. There are multiple tragic heroes, whose consequences of their actions contribute to a series of catastrophic events. Arthur Miller, in his essay “Tragedy in the Common Man”, states that only those who accept their fate without a fight are flawless and that most of us are in this category. Conversely, Aristotle believed “the hero often has many positive qualities, but also possesses a tragic…

    • 1632 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Good Essays

    Ophelia is a woman. Obvious as that is, her gender is her most distinguishing feature since it lays the foundation for her fate. Being a woman in a society dominated by men leaves Ophelia with no choice except to obey the male figures in her life. From the beginning Ophelia is instructed on how she should be and should not be as a lady. Laertes and then Polonius lecture Ophelia on Hamlet, writing off her feelings and assertions of their love as naivety. Ophelia attempts to stand up for her love with…

    • 178 Words
    • 1 Page
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    in Shakespeare’s Hamlet are dramatic. They’re filled with love, loss, and ultimately an overdramatized death in a plot that all links back to one idea of revenge. There is one major character, however, who does not seem to fit this Shakespearean archetype- Queen Gertrude. Her role in the play is often minimized, reduced only to be seen in terms of her incestuous affair and the effect it had on the major male characters of the book. Of the two female characters, Ophelia and Gertrude, Gertrude is viewed…

    • 1012 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Character Analysis: Queen Gertrude In Shakespeare’s Hamlet, one of the most interestingly designed characters is his mother, Queen Gertrude. Throughout the play, she is not only one of the most significant characters but the center of various controversies. In general, she brings up numerous questions within the reader as she is driven by her endless need to fulfill her desire for affection. At the most basic level, Queen Gertrude is almost like a child. Her actions don’t seem to be well…

    • 517 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Hamlet: Ophelia and Gertrude Ophelia and Gertrude. Two different women who seem to be trapped in the same circumstances in relation to Hamlet. Gertrude, Hamlet's mother and the Queen of Denmark. She is married to the present King, Claudius, who is suspected by Hamlet to have killed his father, King Hamlet, who also happens to be Claudius's brother. Gerturde has somehow ended up in the plot of King Hamlet's death and in the eyes of her son, seems to be a monster and an aide to an adulterating…

    • 2060 Words
    • 9 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    instigator is a blurred line in Shakespeare’s novel. The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, focuses on Hamlet’s erosive desire to avenge his father’s death. It is critical to look at not only the protagonist of the play, but also at the instrumental characters who contribute to the dynamic nature of the story; the progressive contagion of insanity throughout the court. One such character is the young noblewoman Ophelia. Often overlooked whilst residing in Hamlet’s shadow, Ophelia and her eventual madness…

    • 1349 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Good Essays

    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…

    • 626 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Ophelia In nearly every tale, the story line contains multiple characters whom depict both good and “evil” qualities. In other words, they reveal opposite interpretations. These drastic differences can be drawn due to the lack of specifics in the reading. One interpretation may portray a character as pure and innocent. In another, they may appear at fault. Shakespeare’s famous play, Hamlet, illustrates this notion through an accumulation of characters. Of the many, Ophelia may strike one as…

    • 632 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    only are Gertrude and Ophelia being drawn towards two different beliefs by the men in their lives, but they are both incapable of making their own decisions and completely clueless and powerless about their own lives. When talking to Polonius about her relationship with Hamlet, Ophelia proclaimed, “I do not know, my lord, what I should think” (I.iii.113). This illustrates her weakness, and her lack of knowledge and power over what she can and would like to do. Swaying back and forth between ideas,…

    • 156 Words
    • 1 Page
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Hamlet possesses an indecisive, morose, and wrathful outlook on people and life, causing him to take brash actions. William Shakespeare’s tragedy “Hamlet” was written in 1601 and published in 1603. Set in Denmark during the Middle Ages, the play revolves around the tragic hero, Hamlet, whom is forced to cope with his father’s death. During the scene 5 of Act I, it is revealed by the ghost of King Hamlet that he was murdered by his own brother, Claudius. Thus, Hamlet is impelled to satisfy his father’s…

    • 840 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays