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Which Statement Best Describes Gertrude’s Development Between Act 1 and Act 4?

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Hamlet’s mother and the Queen of Denmark, Gertrude, is one of the play’s main characters. Her development between Act I and Act IV can be summarized as follows – she becomes less confident in her assertions.

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When Hamlet opens, the King is already dead. And Hamlet is unhappy with his mother marrying the late King’s brother. These two events are a foundation for Hamlet’s attitude toward revenge. However, the primary question throughout the first four acts is whether or not Gertrude knows the truth. Shakespeare deliberately omitted the description of her inner feelings. This move by the author makes the true character of Gertrude less evident. Hamlet and the Ghost provide their narratives of Gertrude. According to them, the Queen is beautiful, and her lust encourages terrible decisions.

The Queen does not say anything to dispute this evaluation. At the beginning of the play, it is challenging to claim anything about Gertrude. There is not enough information to examine her character. As the story unfolds, Gertrude gives several speeches. The first one is when she speaks to Claudius about why Hamlet is distressed. She thinks that their hasty marriage and the death of Hamlet’s father are the reasons. But what is the turning point?

The decisive part of Gertrude’s character development takes place in Act 3. She and her son, Hamlet, have a private conversation. Hamlet does not hesitate to blame his mother for the murder of the King. Gertrude realizes that Claudius was behind the death of her previous husband. Her prior beliefs about her son’s suffering and Claudius are shattered. She awakens by doubting her initial assertions but also feels great shame.

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IvyPanda. "Which Statement Best Describes Gertrude’s Development Between Act 1 and Act 4?" November 25, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/q/which-statement-best-describes-gertrudes-development-between-act-1-and-act-4/.

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IvyPanda. 2020. "Which Statement Best Describes Gertrude’s Development Between Act 1 and Act 4?" November 25, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/q/which-statement-best-describes-gertrudes-development-between-act-1-and-act-4/.

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IvyPanda. (2020) 'Which Statement Best Describes Gertrude’s Development Between Act 1 and Act 4'. 25 November.

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