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Character analysis of Hamlet's Gertrude

            Looking at Act 3 Scene 4 of 'Hamlet' by William Shakespeare. This scene has been seen by some critics as crucial to their reading of the play. This essay is a close examination of this scene as a starting point of the nature of the relationship between Hamlet and Gertrude, its dramatic presentation and its significance in the play as a whole.   .
             Act 3 Scene 4, so called the closet scene, is the first time we see Hamlet and Gertrude together alone. In this scene Hamlet releases his anger and frustration at his mother for the sinful deed she has committed i.e. her marriage to her brother-in-law and the murderer. We can see that Gertrude is unaware of her husband's murder when she says `As kill a King?' and it is the first time she confronts her own behavior. There is a conflict between the two; Hamlet gives powerful replies.
             `Mother you have my father much offended'.
             `Go, go, you question with a wicked tongue'.
             Hamlet takes control of the conversation from the very beginning of the scene although it is Gertrude who was meant to be rebuking him and doing much of the talking. Hamlet succeeds in shaming her until the point when she begs him to stop. Hamlet having the upper hand in the conversation, asks his mother to change her ways, which she agrees to and asks for his advice, showing that she has submitted herself to her son. Hamlet does not really show much respect for his mother while reproving her and forcing her to sit down but he does love her. Some critics believe that his love shows sexual connotation and that is a reason why he gets so upset at her remarriage. There is a point in this scene when Gertrude thinks her life is in danger of Hamlet and gets frightened, which shows us that she considers him to be mad and harmful. After this scene she becomes aware that Hamlet isn't mad and starts trusting him as opposed to Claudius.

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