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Hamlet’s Relationship With Gertrude


As a targeted literary work to analyze, the world-famous play The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark by William Shakespeare will be considered. For the first time, the tragedy was published in 1603, and to this day, this is one of the outstanding works of the genius of classic English literature. The play tells about the fate of Hamlet, the young Danish prince, who goes through a serious shock after losing his father, which is aggravated by the quick marriage of his widowed mother. Shakespeare expresses the idea that even an intelligent and educated person can take revenge and harshness to defend justice. Hamlet’s conflict with Gertrude, his mother, reflects the difference in views between them and the young prince’s desire for ideals that are illusory in the midst of royal intrigue.

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Conflict Between Mother and Son

The conflict between Hamlet and Gertrude is a consequence of the disagreement between the prince and the Queen over the ​​ family values and the importance of staying true to high ideals. Gertrude understands her son’s claims, but she is less worried and wants the young prince to come to terms with the loss, which, in turn, annoys Hamlet even more. The Queen says: “I doubt it is no other but the main, his father’s death and our o’erhasty marriage” (Shakespeare 59). In stating this, she emphasizes two key reasons for the disagreement with her son, and their conflict is difficult to resolve due to diverging views on the future life. Although Gertrude does this for the good of her son and sacrifices her reputation, Hamlet sees her as a traitor and calls for responsibility.

Call for Responsibility

By calling his mother responsible, Hamlet wants revenge but not only just justice. When turning to Gertrude, he accuses her of betrayal, which, in turn, entails misunderstanding between them and the Queen’s longing for the child who refuses to accept her views. The young prince states as follows: “A bloody deed – almost as bad, good mother, as to kill a king, and marry with his brother” (Shakespeare 35). This statement of his proves the complete disagreement about what happened and Hamlet’s tough position. Intransigence with injustice contradicts the prince’s original ideas about life and family, which proves the progressiveness of his views compared to that of his mother.

Progressiveness of Views

Hamlet looks to the future and is guided by views that shape universal human values, while Gertrude is more superficial. While addressing the mother, the prince wants to convey to her the idea that betrayal in relation to her husband is a rejection of herself, which makes the woman think about the words of her son. He says as follows: “My mother. Father and mother is man and wife; man and wife is one flesh” (Shakespeare 60). This phrase confirms that Hamlet is wiser than Gertrude and considers the family as a whole, which his mother cannot understand due to her narrow-mindedness. Thus, this difference in beliefs is the result of their conflict.


Differences in views on the family shape the conflict between Hamlet and Gertrude and highlight the young prince’s inability to convey high values ​​and ideals in the midst of royal intrigue. When calling his mother for responsibility, Hamlet displays more progressive views the Queen cannot understand, which causes disagreement between them. Shakespeare’s play is an example of a classic tragedy and conveys deep ideas about high moral values ​​and ideals that a person is unable to realize due to others’ narrow-mindedness.

Work Cited

Shakespeare, William. The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark. Edited by Barbara A. Mowat and Paul Werstine, Washington Square Press, 1992.

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