Comparing Gertrude And Ophelia In Shakespeare's Hamlet

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In comparison, both Gertrude and Ophelia are powerful women in Hamlet’s life. In the play, both women have a sexual hold on Hamlet. Hamlet has anger toward his mother, while Ophelia has him in the grip of lust, being an emotional item of his. Both women are oblivious to the situation of Hamlet's father's death, and play it off as being a minor bump in the road. Hamlet cannot understand with this, and begins(supposedly) spiraling into madness. The first sign of this “madness” is when Hamlet states his wish for death by saying, “O, that this too too sullied flesh would melt, thaw and resolve itself into a dew, or that the Everlasting had not fixed his canon 'gainst self-slaughter!”(Shakespeare 1.2.133-36). The women learn the truth through the…show more content…
Gertrude, his mother, loves Hamlet in a motherly way, placing his honor under her new husband Claudius, which is Hamlet’s uncle, and also the brother of Gertrude’s past husband and Hamlet’s late father. Hamlet thinks of his mother as a whore because she marries Claudius right after her husband’s death. Hamlet shows up to Gertrude’s room and replies to her wittiness with, “You are the queen, your husband’s brother’s wife, And—would it were not so!—you are my mother”(Shakespeare 3.4.17-18). He claims that she is a whore for marrying his uncle. Gertrude is not a whore; she is attempting to do the right thing by loving her son and moving on with her life. She, as do all mothers, loves Hamlet through all of his actions. Ophelia, his secret desire, loves Hamlet, but is persuaded against her infatuation by her father, Polonius, and her brother Laertes. Laertes does not approve of Hamlet when he says, “…ear you list his songs, or lose your heart, or your chaste treasure open” (1.3.30-31). He thinks that Hamlet is out for a little sex, and that’s all. In the same context, Ophelia’s focus on love is changed easily. She is guided by her family as well as the way she is treated by

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