Updike’s Gertrude and Claudius

4 April 2015
An analysis of the story and how it compares to Shakespeare’s `Hamlet.`

This paper presents an analysis of Updike’s Gertrude and Claudius. While the plot remains the same as in Shakespeare’s `Hamlet,` Updike presents a completely different view of middle-aged sexuality in this story. The character of Gertrude is explored.
“The plot of Shakespeare’s Hamlet seems complicated enough! a casual reader might be tempted to exclaim. Why render the story even more complicated by attempting to surmise back story of some of the more minor characters of the tale, in relation to the action of this already very long play? However, John Updike’s novel Gertrude and Claudius attempts create just such a prologue. In providing a past history for the hero’s mother Gertrude, Updike creates a far different woman in his novel than the sensual, guilty lady of the Jacobean drama Hamlet.

In Updike’s vision of Gertrude, Gertrude or `Gerutha` was a strong, beautiful young woman who was married to a warrior Horwendil the Jute by her father. She didn’t love the man, but was forced into the arrangement. When the warrior’s father died, he and she assumed the throne of Denmark as king and queen. Gertrude never really accepted her status as wife of Horwendil and mother of Hamlet. She only came to a full sensuous understanding of herself as a woman when she entered into a liaison with her husband’s brother.”

How to cite Updike’s Gertrude and Claudius essay

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Updike's Gertrude and Claudius. (2015, Apr 23). Retrieved September 24, 2020, from https://newyorkessays.com/essay-updikes-gertrude-and-claudius/
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