Hamlet - Act 3, Scene 4

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In William Shakespeare's, Hamlet, Act 3, Scene 4 we see Gertrude's speech restricted to brief reactions to Hamlet's long drawn out criticism of her. As the scene progresses, Gertrude goes through several states of feeling self-important and angry at the beginning, then frightened that Hamlet will harm her, taken back and troubled when Hamlet kills Polonius, then plagued by fear and panic as Hamlet confronts her. For the remainder of the scene, I would have, the Ghost actually appear to show Gertrude's central characteristic components of being the troubled mother who does not believe her son or truly supports him when he is in dire need of love. Throughout the play we see how Gertrude's character seems to have an imbedded nature for self preservation and advancement that leads her to marry her late husband's brother without shame or thought to what she was doing.

That thus hath cozened you at hoodman-blind? Eyes without feeling, feeling without sight, Ears without hands or eyes, smelling sans all, Or but a sickly part of one true sense Could not so mope.

O shame, where is thy blush? (3.4, 78-82) The Ghost would be presented in the production to set a somber ambiance, and to have the audience relate and feel the deep pain Hamlet feels for not having his mother's support. Gertrude in disbelief of her son seeing his dead father's ghost; claims that it's only a figment in his imagination. We see Hamlet trying to convince his mother that he is not mad, and his willingness to prove himself and what he has seen.

Ecstasy? My pulse as yours doth temperately keep time, And makes as healthful music. It is not madness That I have uttered. Bring me to the test, And I the matter will reword,