Hamlet is one of Shakespeare’s most iconic tragedies, and a story that has been adapted countless times. The story revolves around the young prince Hamlet, who is grieving the death of his father. Hamlet’s mother, Gertrude, has married Hamlet’s uncle, Claudius, which Hamlet finds repulsive. Hamlet is torn between his love for his mother and his desire to avenge his father’s death. This conflict comes to a head when Hamlet kills Polonius, leading to a chain of events that ultimately lead to Hamlet’s downfall.
While there is much debate surrounding Hamlet and Gertrude’s relationship, it is clear that there is a deep love between them. Hamlet is constantly trying to protect his mother, even when she is making choices that he disagrees with. Gertrude, for her part, seems to be the only person who can truly understand Hamlet’s pain. In the end, their love for each other is what drives Hamlet to his tragic end.
Imagine that your father passes away while you’re at school, leaving your mother and you. This news would be enough to crush even the toughest of hearts, yet Hamlet, the fictitious prince of Denmark in Shakespeare’s play of the same name, is not fazed by this.
Gertrude, Hamlet’s mother and queen, has remarried within two months of the death of his father. This news is made more shocking by the revelation that her new spouse is her former brother-in-law Claudius, whom she previously despised.
Hamlet is understandably distraught by these turn of events. As Hamlet wallows in his self-pity he notices his father’s ghost who tells Hamlet that it was Claudius who killed him. The ghost asks Hamlet to take revenge upon Claudius. Hamlet agrees and from this point on the play becomes a tragedy of errors with Hamlet mistakenly killing Polonius, Rosencrantz, Guildenstern and finally Laertes. All the while Gertrude watches as her son goes mad before her eyes, seemingly unable or unwilling to do anything to stop it.
Some interpreters of the play see Gertrude as an innocent victim caught up in circumstances beyond her control while others view her as a willing accomplice in her husband’s murder. Hamlet, of course, falls somewhere in the middle. He loves his mother but is disgusted by her actions. This creates a complex and dynamic relationship between the two characters that has been the subject of much debate over the years.
What is clear is that Hamlet and Gertrude have a complicated relationship. It is possible to see elements of both love and hate in their interactions with one another. Hamlet clearly loves his mother but is frustrated by her actions. Gertrude, on the other hand, seems to vacillate between loving and hating her son. This makes their relationship all the more fascinating and intriguing.
Hamlet is unable to return to the university due to his overwhelming sorrow, and he is imprisoned by his devoted parents until proven sane. It’s at this point that he receives news from Horatio that his father’s ghost has returned and walks the earth. During the Elizabethan era of English literature, man and nature were linked in a “supernatural chain of being.”
Hamlet’s love for his father and his natural state of being are disrupted by Gertrude’s marriage to Claudius. Hamlet is caught in the crossroads of his duty to avenge his father and his love for Gertrude. In the end, Hamlet must choose between his love for Gertrude and his duty to avenge his father.
Hamlet is a play full of action and intrigue, but at its core it is a tragedy of a man who could not make the one decision that would have saved him from himself. Hamlet is a man who loved deeply and passionately, but he was also consumed by hatred and revenge. His inability to act on either love or hate led to his downfall. Hamlet is a tragedy of a man who was torn between two loves, one for his father and one for his mother.
He loved them both, but he could not reconcile his duty to avenge his father with his love for Gertrude. Hamlet’s love for Gertrude was real and passionate, but in the end he chose his duty to avenge his father over her. Hamlet is a tragedy of a man who loved too much and hated too much, and in the end neither love nor hate could save him.
To Hamlet, the fact that his father had returned indicated that this chain had been disrupted by some form of evil in the world. His return as a ghost might signal only one thing: his death was not an accident. The ghost begs Hamlet to avenge him, but warns him against tainting his mind or plotting against his mother in any way. Hamlet vows to carry out his vendetta, but he is concerned about what the ghost has said about Gertrude. Hamlet’s love for his father and hatred for his mother become two ofhis primary motivators in life.
When Hamlet sees his mother with Claudius, Hamlet is disgusted. Hamlet feels she has betrayed his father’s memory by marrying so soon after his death. Hamlet can not forgive her and says some very hurtful things to her. Hamlet’s killing of Polonius is an indirect result of his hate for his mother. Hamlet believes that Polonius is a “wretched, rash, intruding fool” that has come between him and Gertrude.
In the end, Hamlet does kill Claudius but it is not clear if his motive is revenge for his father or hate for his mother. Hamlet’s dying words to Horatio are “absent thee from felicity awhile / And in this harsh world draw thy breath in pain / To tell my story”. Hamlet’s love for his father and hate for his mother are the two forces that have shaped Hamlet’s life and ultimately led to his death.
“Most pernicious women!” he screams, “O scoundrel, scoundrel! Smiling, accursed villain!” Hamlet utters these words as though he has forgotten his promise to his father and has succumbed to rage. The madness caused by anger is a theme that recurs throughout the play. After Hamlet has cooled down enough for him to become conscious again, he promises Horatio that he will seek revenge against Claudius by appearing insane until the moment is ripe.
Gertrude’s standing before Claudius is ambiguous. It’s clear that he murdered King Hamlet, yet what about Gertrude? She appears to despise Hamlet due to her fast marriage. Throughout the play, Hamlet makes satirical comments and is generally cold towards her, but he does not make any direct accusations. This changes in act 3, scene ii after Hamlet uses traveling performers to elicit a reaction from the king in order to confirm what the ghost has said. His suspicions grow stronger as his confidence grows, and he rushes to accuse his mother of murder.
Hamlet’s anger and disgust are genuine and it is difficult to see Hamlet’s treatment of Gertrude as anything other than hate. Hamlet’s only words of love come after her death when he finally shows some remorse for his actions.
Hamlet’s relationship with Gertrude is complicated by his feelings for Ophelia. Hamlet is clearly in love with her but his madness and preoccupation with revenge make it difficult for him to express these feeling directly. He often uses her as a sounding board for his thoughts on revenge and occasionally treats her harshly, but he does eventually come to her defense. Hamlet’s love for Ophelia is one of the few constants in his life and provides a contrast to the dark turn his relationship with Gertrude takes.
The jury is still out on whether Hamlet ever truly loved Gertrude or not. Hamlet’s love for her may have been tainted by his need for revenge, but it’s clear that he did feel something for her. Hamlet’s treatment of Gertrude is more complex than simply hate and he eventually does show remorse for his actions. Hamlet’s love for Ophelia provides a contrast to his relationship with Gertrude and highlights the complicated nature of Hamlet’s character.