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Gertrude is the Queen of Denmark and wife to King Hamlet. She is the mother of Hamlet. She is portrayed as a living and an important character in the tragedy, Hamlet. It is evident that the Queen married a second time. She was false to her husband while he lived. She was certainly not privy to the murder of her husband. Now she is married to Claudius.
Gertrude has a soft animal nature and is very dull and very shallow. She loves to be happy, and it pleased her to see others happy. She never saw the drunkenness of her husband as disgusting till Hamlet told her so. Though she knew that Hamlet considered her re-marriage over-hasty, she was untroubled by any shame at the feelings which had led to it. It was pleasant for her to sit upon her throne and see smiling faces round her. She thought it foolish and unkind in Hamlet to protest in grieving for his father instead of marrying Ophelia and making everything comfortable. She was fond of Ophelia and was genuinely attached to her son.

The Queen has little personality to set against the strong individuality of the men. She rarely takes any positive action. She is carried along by events which concern her closely but which she cannot hope to control or influence in any significant way. When we see her first, she is repeating the wishes of her husband that Hamlet should not return to the university. Here and throughout the play, Hamlet treats her with deference because she is his mother and also because the Ghost had asked him to leave her alone.

It seems that her thinking is fairly clear at least so far as Hamlet's state of mind is concerned. She is not convinced when Polonius makes every effort to prove that Hamlet is suffering from love-madness. Later she expresses her hope that Ophelia is the cause of Hamlet's disturbance of mind. Her comment on the play-within-the-play is famous for its shrewdness.
To sum up, we may say that Hamlet's treatment of Gertrude's character is fully uncommon, unusual cruelty, and bitter cynicism. Gertrude is portrayed with great care. She is important in the development of the action of the play.


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