Hamlet's Treatment Of Ophelia And Gertrude



Modern folklore suggests women look at a man's relationship with his mother
to predict how they will treat other women in their life. Hamlet is a good
example of a son's treatment of his mother reflecting how he will treat the
woman he loves because when considering Hamlet's attitude and treatment of the
Ophelia in William Shakespeare's play, Hamlet, one must first consider how
Hamlet treated his mother. A characteristic of Hamlet's personality is to make
broad, sweeping generalizations and nowhere is this more evident than in his
treatment toward women. Very early in the play, while discussing his mother's
transgressions, he comments, “Frailty, thy name is woman. (Hoy, 11).” ...

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not, nor it cannot come to good. (Hoy, 11)

It is understandable Hamlet is upset with his mother for forgetting about his
father and marrying his uncle, Claudius. In Hamlet's eyes, his father deserves
more than one month of mourning and by remarrying so quickly, the queen has
sullied King Hamlet's memory. This remarriage is a sin and illegal, however
special dispensation was made because she is queen.
Hamlet's opinion of his mother worsens as the play progresses because
his father, who appears as a ghost, tells him of his mother's adulterous
behavior and his uncle's shrewd and unconscionable murder. Although Hamlet
promises to seek revenge on King Claudius for murdering his father, he is
initially more concerned with the ghost's revelations regarding his mother.
King Hamlet tells Hamlet not to be concerned with his mother but after the
apparition leaves, it is the first thing Hamlet speaks of. Before vowing to
avenge his father's death, he comments on the sins his mother ...

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suggesting revenge must be taken soon (Dover
Wilson, 248).
During this scene Queen Gertrude is unable to see her dead husband which
in Elizabethan times implied she was “unable to see the ‘gracious figure' of her
husband because her eyes are held by the adultery she has committed (Dover
Wilson, 254).” The ghosts steals away from the closet when he realizes his
widow cannot see him, causing Hamlet to hate Gertrude even more because he felt
the same rejection when Ophelia rejected him. He can feel his father's grief as
a son and as a lover (Dover Wilson, 255). It was devastating to see his father
rejected by the queen in the same manner he was rejected by Ophelia.
Understanding ...

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"Hamlet's Treatment Of Ophelia And Gertrude." Essayworld.com. January 15, 2006. Accessed December 4, 2021. http://www.essayworld.com/essays/Hamlets-Treatment-Of-Ophelia-And-Gertrude/39690.
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Added: 1/15/2006 08:46:53 PM
Category: Arts
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 1538
Pages: 6

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