Act 3 Scene 4 of William Shakespeare's Hamlet Essay

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Act 3 Scene 4 of William Shakespeare's Hamlet

It is tempting to condemn Gertrude as evil, but it is probably more sensible to consider her as weak and inconstant. But when have tragedy plays ever been sensible? Like many of Shakespeare's women it is argued that their characters are somewhat "sketched in" rather than drawn in with detail like for example, Hamlet's. The way Shakespeare has "sketched in" Gertrude's character leads an awful lot down to the way she is played on the stage. When reading the play Gertrude's character is enigmatic. This leads a lot down to personal interpretation upon reading the play. We also have to take the culture of that period in time into consideration when
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The Victorian society was very familiar with death and it was a large part of their culture. Gertrude waited a whole month before announcing her love for Claudius. There are even suggestions that Gertrude was unfaithful to Old Hamlet with Claudius, she was probably quite lonely being married to Hamlet senior, seeing as he was always off at war…who else to warm the royal bed than the charismatic Claudius? This links her to the death of Claudius and weather she had a hand in it. Looking at the evidence we seriously have to ask, how can Gertrude not know about the details of her husband's death when so heavily involved with Claudius and the palace?

One of her greatest weapons is her power of deceitfulness. In act 3 scene 4 Gertrude supposedly finds out about the murder of Old Hamlet. She seems shocked and flabbergasted about the event but in control of her emotions. In the heated exchanges between the two Gertrude shows Hamlet how supposedly innocent she is and vulnerable to the evil of Claudius. Hamlet's tone moves from the bitterly accusatory, "kill a king and marry with his brother", to the almost apologetic, "I must only be cruel to be kind". This tool of vulnerability plays on Hamlet's mixed up emotions and wins him back over to her side. So when she is in a tight situation she can just play the innocent card and Hamlet will take it, due to his love for his mother.

Gertrude's
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