Please analyze the relationship between Hamlet and Gertrude over the course of William Shakespeare's play, Hamlet.

Expert Answers info

Lori Steinbach eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2010

write4,539 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Social Sciences, and History

At the beginning of Hamlet, by William Shakespeare, Hamlet is distraught about two things: his father's untimely death and his mother's untimely marriage. Gertrude's role in this play, either as complicit or innocent in the murder of her husband, is one which prompts great debate, as does the nature of her relationship with Hamlet. Many of the things that she says and does in the play are a matter of interpretation. 

In the first scene Hamlet and Gertrude have together, she suspects he might possibly be upset by her "o'erhasty marriage," but she also wants him to stop mourning so dramatically--perhaps because it makes her feel a bit guilty. While he does not yet know that Claudius murdered King Hamlet , Hamlet knows that his father was a far superior man to Claudius; he says they are like Hyperion (one of the Titans) and a satyr (lecherous half-man and half-goat). Hamlet is clearly upset with her choice of husband, but he is also furious with her for being weak ("Frailty, they name is woman!")...

(The entire section contains 585 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial