Gertrude 's Tragic End Of Shakespeare 's Hamlet

Good Essays
John (Zhiyao) Ma
21L.009, Shakespeare
March 11, 2015
Gertrude’s Tragic End The nature of Shakespeare’s plays, with its notable lack of stage directions, gives way to multiple different interpretations of the characters, plot, and even of the purpose of the play itself. The character of Gertrude is no exception. Gertrude’s character and motives, being left ambiguous, have been interpreted in many different ways in various productions of Hamlet. Was she implicit in the death of King Hamlet, or was she merely a clueless bystander? Did she drink the poison as an act of motherly self-sacrifice, or was it an accidental tragedy? Zefferelli’s Hamlet (1990) and Almereyda’s Hamlet (2000) provide two different interpretations on Gertrude’s characterization. In particular, there exist substantial differences in their renditions of Gertrude’s death—while Almereyda portrays her death as a noble suicide, Zefferelli paints her death as a by-product of her unceasing lust for pleasure. Furthermore, in that scene, we also notice a difference in Hamlet’s attitude towards Gertrude. By analyzing these points along with other scenes within the context of the entire film, we manage to develop an understanding of Almereyda’s and Zefferelli’s view on Gertrude and how use that to develop the tragic conclusion of the final scene. Almereyda’s rendition of Gertrude’s death portrays her death as a noble act of self-sacrifice. [Clip 1- Gertrude’s end]. At the beginning of the fencing duel, we see her
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