The Symbolism Of Gertrude's Honor In Hamlet By William Shakespeare

314 Words2 Pages
Throughout the play, Gertrude’s honour is constantly attacked and damaged. Following the death of her beloved husband, a hasty marriage to her former brother-in-law, Claudius, commences. “Although the memories of my dear brother Hamlet’s death are fresh…with sadness and delight do I marry my former sister-in-law” (Shakespeare, pg.10). Gertrude’s integrity and honour is brought into question as she weds the unknown murderer of her deceased husband. A basis of respect for the deceased is an important statue in the court of Denmark. In the courts of Europe, there have been many precedents in which the widow of a deceased king does not remarry and remains in solitude for the remainder of her life. Gertrude’s marriage to Claudius dishonours her relationship with the past king.…show more content…
Also, Hamlet displays his anguish at the Queen for dishonouring his dead father since “Almost as bad, good mother, as killing a king and marrying his brother” (Shakespeare, pg. 121). In this statement, Hamlet expresses how, through the marriage to her husband’s murderer, Gertrude is a symbol of dishonor and damaging her relationship with the prince. Hamlet is disgusted by Gertrude’s actions and recognizes her not as his mother but the queen and wife of Claudius, the murderer. The respect revered by children to their mother is not evident between Hamlet and Gertrude. In Gertrude’s death scene, Hamlet screams to his mother “Wretched Queen, adieu!” (Shakespeare, pg. 201). As a consequence of Gertrude’s dishonor to Hamlet’s father, Hamlet’s last words to his mother were filled with anger and madness rather than sadness and sorrow. Gertrude’s role in Hamlet is one of many characters emphasizing honour being attacked. Had the Queen not hastily married her brother-in-law and husband’s murderer, Gertrude’s honour as a queen, wife and mother may have been

More about The Symbolism Of Gertrude's Honor In Hamlet By William Shakespeare

Open Document