Gertrude's uncertain complicity

In “Hamlet”, William Shakespeare leaves the question of Gertrude’s involvement in the murderous intrigues of her new husband Claudius open to interpretation. Whether she knew what was going on behind the scenes at the beginning of the drama, she becomes, intentionally or not, a willing accomplice in Claudius' scheming network. Just as with Claudius, in her case, too, her morally questionable behavior can be traced back to her wish to hold power. She willingly accepts to commit incest and that infidelity to her late husband in order to remain the queen of Denmark.

Unlike Claudius, Gertrude's behavior is more passive. She follows her husband in his intrigues. She makes no objections when Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are being used to spy on Hamlet, tolerates Polonius and Cl...

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