Quick Index Board Index Home FAQ Site Map
|GR: Gertrude's "role"
Written by Jezkalyn
(6/6/2003 9:47 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Gertrude, penned by Laraine
I give in on the concerned mother bit. Although I do think that had she been really concerned about Hamlet she would have done a lot more to help him. As it is, she stands back and let's thigns slide by. However, I am not sure as a woman of that period, she has a whole lot of power in the matter. She is a concerned and as involved as she can be given the circumstances.
No, I refer more to the scene in her bedroom where Hamlet is comparing his father to Claudius. She is obviously distraught by what he is saying as if he were hitting some deep chord in her she had been ignoring. I believe her affection (or lust, IMO) for Claudius is real, but that doesn't make her a virtuous wife -and she seems to know it because she begs Hamlet to stop torturing her with the comparison. She betrayed the memory of her relationship with Hamlet (the elder) far too soon. When I reread the scene, I felt her coming out of her role and being honest in facing her personal guilt in the matter. It isn't until the ghost appears again that she receeds back into her "role". It is a lot easier for her to believe that Hamlet is mad than believe that she betrayed the memory of her first (and by all accounts) beloved husband and settled for much, much less in Claudius. In order to do what? Maintain her status? Great nooky? Both? In other words, her role is hiding from her guilt behind a mask of wedded bliss.
In addition, the Ghost, who IMO is a credible source because he is telling the truth in everything (and possibly one of the few doing so), tells Hamlet on a couple of occasions to leave her alone and let her guilt get the better of her on it's own.
All that said, I do think that the women in this play are more victims than anything else. I don't think G had any involvement in the murder of Hamlet. She died because she got thirsty. She get entwined in the web woven by everyone else.
*Phew* Hope I am making sense....
Hamlet Group Read is maintained by Laraine with WebBBS 3.21.