Comparison Of Gertrude And Jocasta

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Comparison of Gertrude and Jocasta

Gertrude plays the mother of Hamlet in the play and has been given a role of prominence. She plays a woman who causes no harm to others yet it is her poor judgmental qualities that land her into utter trouble. She is thoughtful, subtle and cautious yet her character does not emphasize on these qualities alone for it is her judgmental abilities that are always wrong and objectionable. Gertrude falls prey to Claudius and is totally ignorant of his vicious plots against Gertrude's husband. She also remains oblivious of Hamlet's possessiveness towards her just like her own mother. She does not feel any connection as to why Hamlet behaves in a way he does, she fails to understand the reason behind his not wanting Gertrude to re-marry. She thinks that hamlet does not want to see her happy and content. "With an auspicious and a dropping eye, With mirth in funeral and with dirge in marriage, In equal scale weighing delight and dole” (Hamlet) (Wells, 450).

Gertrude's character never fully reveals itself through the course of the play. While Hamlet believes her mother to be an object of sensuality for Claudius, she has been portrayed as an affectionately concerned mother and her relationship with Claudius is purely domestic-one does not invite any obnoxious interactions at all. The type of lady that we see in Gertrude as compared to the one that is imagined by Hamlet is totally opposite in conduct with a reasonably desirable personality. The Gertrude, who emerges in the story as a woman led by her desire for class and love, one who uses men to fulfill her desires for self-preservation. This makes her extremely dependent upon the men of her life (Bate, 235).

Hamlet remains angry at Gertrude and punishes her for deeds undone. Yet it is she who remains faithful and loyal towards Hamlet, protecting him from the king Claudius. Although her love for Claudius is not according to societal standards and moral values; she is now his wife and a queen and remains loyal to him forever. We see that she has the potential to give love - she wants to protect Claudius and she cares deeply about Hamlet even though she does not know that it is a trap. The relation she has with Hamlet is somewhat unstable and deranged, since he bears a grudge against her for marrying her husband's brother Claudius after he murdered the King . Carolyn Heilbrun comments on Gertrude's character as one being very manipulative and subtle throughout the play (See Appendix).

Gertrude remains loyal and faithful as a wife. She does not know anything about the plans of Claudius to trick her into marriage by getting rid of her husband. She remains as calm as she could. It is Gertrude's basic tendency for kindness that wins her hearts. It is sad but fitting that Gertrude meets her end by drinking poison, demanding that she tastes what is in the pretty cup, as trusting as a ...
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