How is Claudius and Gertrude's relationship in Hamlet destructive?

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Claudius and Gertrude's relationship is destructive because they married in haste, and Claudius uses her for his own ends without her knowledge or consent. Marrying Gertrude may have also been one of the things that prompted Claudius to murder his brother.

When Claudius and Gertrude marry after her husband's death, they do so quickly. It is only a couple months after Gertrude's husband—Hamlet's father and the king—died. This haste creates suspicion in Hamlet because it seems like neither Gertrude nor Claudius mourns the man who died. Instead, they go on as if he never existed and, in fact, marry someone who seems even less appropriate than another person who wasn't related to the king.

This speedy marriage starts to destroy Hamlet's family before he even knows for sure that Claudius killed his father. He already mistrusts his mother and feels like she isn't the person he knew. Because they're the royal family, discord between them also creates discord in the court and country.


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