Gertrude and Claudius by John Updike

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In what ways is Gertrude a very crucial character in the play "Hamlet"? I'm doing a reasearch paper about how Gertrude is the catalyst of all the events in Hamlet. She started the desire for Claudius...

In what ways is Gertrude a very crucial character in the play "Hamlet"?

I'm doing a reasearch paper about how Gertrude is the catalyst of all the events in Hamlet. She started the desire for Claudius to kill Hamlet's Father, for he loved her, she caused Hamlet to be suspicious of Claudius for her hasty decision to marry Claudius, etc. I'd like to gather as much information about this topic as possible. At the moment I can't seem to find any secondary sources to back-up my information appropriately and am hoping this discussion will help.

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With regard to secondary sources, perhaps you could research the influence of mothers upon main characters/people.  Wasn't it Freud who attributed so...

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shoriusaki | Student

Thank you very much, this information really truly helps. Honestly, Hamlet is the very first Shakespeare play I have read through and I find it so intruiging compared to Macbeth, Romeo & Juliet, and Midsummer Night's Dream. (The plays I have read as of yet.) But what inspired me to write about Gertrude was that during my class nobody really gave Gertrude the credit for her fire starting actions! I was really dissapointed when I saw that not all the characters got the credit they deserved. I see the W.S. (William Shakekspeare) didn't just place characters here and there just for fun. But he had the whole plot set out in a way where every character has a specific part to play out to make the story flow to it's end. Thus, I am concentrating on Gertrude's extreme part in the story, the main reason why Hamlet had become suspicious of Claudius in the first place.

If there be anybody else who would like to put there comments or critiques, please, don't be afraid to do so.

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frizzyperm | Student

Hamlet's transition from a philosophical and idealistic youth to a jaded, hopeless adult is the result of a series of psychic blows which open his eyes to human frailty and imperfection.

What was once a wonderful world full of perfect abstracts like love, beauty, honor, loyalty, truth etc becomes a grim place full of selfish inconsistency, base urges and brief mortality.

And the heaviest blow to Hamlet's perfect world is his mother's failure to truly grieve for her dead husband and the vulgar haste with which she married the next king. This easy disloyalty to her dead love is utterly incomprehensible to him. It hurts him more than any of the other problems he suffers throughout the play; it is the cause of all his sorrrows. Gertrude's unconcern at Hamlets father's death.

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