Queen Gertrude, the queen of Denmark and widow of King Hamlet now is married to her brother in-law, Claudius. She has a son named Prince Hamlet who she pretends to care for. Queen Gertrude is a manipulative, sick, incestuous mother, who helps to kill her husband, emotionally abandons her son, Hamlet, and marries her former brother in-law, Claudius for the wrong reasons. Overall Gertrude is a selfish, two -faced and manipulative woman.
Gertrude's significance in the play is central. She creates the situation that Hamlet struggles with throughout the play and the tragedy the play ends with. She does this by falling in love with Claudius and collaborating with him to kill King Hamlet, Prince Hamlet's father. She did Claudius a favor by marrying him because he wanted to become King and rule Denmark. She totally disregarded Hamlet's feelings over his dead father and ignored his feelings about his mother's quick and incestuous marriage. .
"Good Hamlet, cast thy knighted color off, and let thine eye look like a friend on Denmark. Do not forever with thy vailed lids see for thy noble father in the dust. Thou know'st "tis common; all that lives must die, passing through nature to eternity." (1.2 line 70).
This is an example of how Gertrude told Hamlet to forget about his father's death and that everybody dies and to goes to eternity.
Throughout the play Gertrude never really changes significantly and blindly keeps her commitment to Claudius, who ultimately betrays her. This was her fatal flaw. Throughout the play she was self-absorbed and did not notice that she was being taken advantage of by Claudius and distancing herself from Hamlet. She even manipulates Hamlet to doubt who killed his father. She coordinates and creates Hamlet's experience and crisis because she lies and behaves as if everything is fine, because she feels guilty and she is concerned that Hamlet will try to avenge his father's murder.