Gertrude, the Queen of King Hamlet and mother of Prince Hamlet, remarried her husband’s brother Claudius only two hours after her first husband’s death. This hasty decision and her refusal to trust her son, Hamlet, led Shakespeare to portray her as a hypocrite and a weakling. Hamlet is still grieving the loss of his father, yet he is determined to avenge his death. Gertrude advises him to stop wearing mourning clothes and to be more cheerful. She tells him that all humans must die and encourages him to leave. This shows Gertrude’s lack of sympathy for her son’s grief and her own unwillingness to confront her husband’s death. Gertrude has put her own needs before her son’s, and she married Claudius because she wanted to maintain her position as Queen. Surprisingly, Gertrude and Claudius are a good match for each other, as they are both inadequate and incompetent to the people around them.
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