What are some quotes that show King Claudius's dominance over Queen Gertrude? 

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The two women in Shakespeare's Hamlet are both dominated by the men in their lives.  Gertrude is subservient to both her new husband Claudius and to her son Hamlet, and at times, even Claudius's advisor Polonius seems to lord power over her.  Gertrude, even more so than Claudius,...

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The two women in Shakespeare's Hamlet are both dominated by the men in their lives.  Gertrude is subservient to both her new husband Claudius and to her son Hamlet, and at times, even Claudius's advisor Polonius seems to lord power over her.  Gertrude, even more so than Claudius, is the rightful ruler of Denmark; yet she is rarely given the respect due to this position.  Granted, one of our impressions of her is that she doesn't have much of her own to say; when Claudius gives instructions to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, she merely parrots his words after him.  Claudius and Polonius seem to be the true rulers of the country; they often plot and scheme without Gertrude's awareness:

Claudius:  Sweet Gertrude, leave us too,
For we have closely sent for Hamlet hither...

She is not included in their plans and is expected to passively agree--and she does, rather pathetically:

Gertrude:  I shall obey you.

Later in Act 4, Laertes comes back from France determined to seek revenge for his father's death.  When he attempts to attack Claudius, Gertrude moves to stop him.  Claudius, ever confident of his position, demands that she not restrain Laertes:

Claudius:  Let him go, Gertrude. Do not fear our person. There’s such divinity doth hedge a king

That treason can but peep to what it would,
Acts little of his will.—Tell me, Laertes, Why thou art thus incensed.
Let him go, Gertrude.—

Twice he makes demands of the woman Claudius knows is the rightful queen of Denmark, the woman without whom he would have no claim at all.  As Laertes begins to speak, Gertrude tries once to defend her husband and again is told to leave Laertes alone--to defer to a lesser man.  She is not heard from again in the scene.  She is completely submissive to her second husband, the very man who killed her first.

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