Importance of Gertrude and Ophelia

1 January 2017

The love a man has for his mother and the love he has for his girlfriend/fiance/wife are two different kinds of love that always seems to conflict one another. The mother and the female companion usually really like each other or they hate each other. In Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Gertrude and Ophelia has a steady relationship with each other. But Gertrude’s relationship Hamlet starts off as unhappy and ends with death.

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Throughout the play Hamlet is questioning Gertrude’s love for him and his father which cause their once steady relationship to shaken. For Ophelia and Hamlet, both were so in love, but later in the play shows Ophelia worrying about Hamlet and her love for him slowly diminishing. Gertrude and Ophelia have their own important role in the play with how they affect Hamlet’s decisions all through the play. Hamlet’s mother, Gertrude, begins the play with Hamlet upset with her for marrying his uncle, Claudius. She does not see what is wrong with the marriage and tries to tell Hamlet to get over his father’s death.

The Act I clearly show that Gertrude’s and Hamlet’s mother-son relationship will never as it once was. Gertrude still tries to help Hamlet throughout the play by trying to convince Claudius to leave Hamlet alone and that Hamlet feels guilt for what he has done. Hamlet hesitate killing Claudius because he is now Gertrude’s husband and Hamlet may unconsciously feel a connection with Claudius as his stand by father. If Gertrude never married Claudius, then Hamlet would probably have the confidence to kill Claudius when he found out that he was the one that killed his father.

All through the play Gertrude protects Hamlet. She unknowingly adds fuel to the flame that is Hamlet’s detestation for the marriage. With Gertrude playing the “victim” in Claudius’, Hamlet has someone who will remain faithful to him. If Gertrude knew about the plan to kill Hamlet’s father, then Hamlet would never have stayed to revenge his father’s death because the Hamlet does not have enough courage to do so. Ophelia is the daughter of Polonius and her life seems to not be under her control. Her decisions are made by what Polonius or Hamlet tells her to do.

Ophelia is sweet and innocent ompared to Gertrude’s incestuous act. Ophelia keeps Hamlet calm since she is the most stable person that he has in his life. But later Ophelia goes wild because Hamlet is also crazy. Most of the characters believe that Ophelia is acting this way because of the death of her father, Polonius, but in actuality it is because Hamlet turned on her. Ophelia’s innocence was taken by Hamlet and it caused her to not listen to the advice from her brother, Laertes. Ophelia received most of Hamlet’s anger that was meant to be directed towards his mother instead. She was there for Hamlet to relieve any built up tension he had.

Ophelia denied that Hamlet did not lover her, but when she died Hamlet is seen at her funeral confessing his love for Ophelia to Laertes saying that he did not mean to cause Ophelia’s death. Both Gertrude and Ophelia were the safety nets for Hamlet in the play. Even though Hamlet felt as if he could trust know one the two women in the play were meant to keep Hamlet alive as long as possible. Between Claudius killing Hamlet’s father, and Gertrude and Ophelia not knowing this fact helped push Hamlet’s verdict on what he is going to do. Shakespeare put the Gertrude and Ophelia in the play to maintain the balance of good and evil, purity and sin.

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