Gertrude : LUSENET : Kenneth Branagh's Hamlet : One Thread

Does anyone have any thoughts/views on Gertrude? I am pondering the idea that she wants status more than anything else. Thanks!

-- Midge (, January 29, 2003


yes, i think she married C to stay in power. greed! she didnt care about Hs feelings on the matter. a parallel in a sense is Rosencntz and Gildenstern when the queen and king tell them they will be highly rewarded for complying with their wishes of bringing H to England. They went against "a friend" for their own benefit!

-- Lindsey S (, February 16, 2003.

I think she just feels a need for a man, leader, advisor, etc. She is always influenced by Claudius or Polonius or Hamlet, never assertive of herself, until the very end.

-- catherine england (, February 17, 2003.

In Act 3, Scene 4, we see that the queen has been so overcome with the guilt she feels at her murderous thoughts and immoral actions that she has proceeded to deceive herself into thinking that she is innocent in order to find relief. Therefore, throughout the scene she isn't just trying to convince Hamlet of her innocence, she is trying to convince herself that she is blameless. At first the queen acts like she can't figure out what it is that Hamlet is accusing her of and asks such questions as: “kill a king?” and “What have I done that thou dar'st wag thy tongue in noise so rude against me?” Hamlet is shocked that his mother can be so unashamed of what she has done and says: “O shame! where is thy blush?”

Hamlet continues to make accusations and eventually turns his mother's glare inside herself where she sees the guilt which she has tried so hard to convince herself does not exist. She cries out: “O Hamlet, speak no more! Thou turn'st mine eyes into my very soul, and there I see such black and grainèd spots as will not leave their tinct.” It is interesting that this is the only time where we observe the queen in a passionate state. This makes me think that throughout the rest of the play she is putting on an act to cover her guilt, and this passionate person we observe in the chamber is her true self.

At the end of the scene Hamlet beseeches his mother to: “for love of grace, lay not that flattering unction to your soul, that not your trespass but my badness speaks. It will by skin and film the ulcerous place, whilst rank corruption, mining all within infects unseen. Confess yourself to heaven; repent what's past; avoid what is to come; and do not spread the compost on the weeds to make them ranker.” Unfortunately, the queen does not follow Hamlet's advice, and soon after this conversation, she has again “forgotten” her guilt and thus made her self-deceiving condition even worse. The queen is another example of a character in Hamlet who simply refuses to be “true to themselves.”

-- Erin James (, March 26, 2003.

i believe that G is the reason for the whole story with out her seducing C he would not have murdered hisd brother the ghost would not have come back hamlet wouldnt be out to kill C and C wouldnt be in a plan with P and L against hamlet

-- barbra smith (, March 31, 2004.

Who says she seduced Claudius. More like the other way about.

-- catherine england (, April 06, 2004.

Gertrude does change after her conversation with Hamlet. He tells to tell the king that he is indeed mad. It could be that this is what she truly believes, althought i feel that she now understand Hamlet, and makes an effort to repent. Branagh, for instance, clearly conveys this when Gertrude disobeys that king and surely knows of his plans.

-- Oren (, July 27, 2004.

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