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Word Count: 425
Gertrude Gertrude the queen of Denmark is a simple shallow woman She is weak but not evil She contrasts with other characters in the play as she is capable of love and affection but is easily lead Gertrudes selfishness is the one interesting trait in what is otherwise a very dull characterisation by Shakespeare She loves to be happy Her great anxiety seems to be to avoid trouble and to keep other people happy Her early request to hamlet to cast off thy mourning clothes and to look on Claudius as his father even though she has doubts about their overhasty marriage is typical of her spineless attitude Gertrude is easily persuaded to act in the way others want her to act This relates to her constant desire to please people She willingly agrees to let polonius hide in her room while she is talking to hamlet However this she may also be aiding polonius believing he can unlock the cause of Hamlets insantity the queen his mother lives almost by his looks Gertrude allows Claudius to plan their joint treatment of Hamlet thereby unwiitting ly conforming to Claudiuss schemings There is no limit to her desire to avoid trouble or possibly her naivetestupidity Even after Hamlet has told her about Claudiuss act of murder she still protects him When Laertes rushes into the kings appartment accusing him of murder she tries to quell his anger calmly good laertes and later she defends Claudius but not by him in reply to Laertes accusations A certain ambiguity surrounds Gertrudes involvement in the murder of old Hamlet Her complicity in the murder seems to be disproven by her reaction to The Mousetrap She is predictably annoyed with Hamlet because he has upset Claudius Hamlet thou hast thy father much offended but she shows no signs of having a guility conscience Her innocence is further proven by the astonishment in her reply as kill a king
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