Gertrude is the crucial protagonist in Hamlet. She’s portrayed as a multidimensional figure, and her portrait fluctuates throughout the play. However, Act 4 reveals her to be defensive, as Hamlet made her see the bad fortune of her marriage. Gertrude appears nervous and hesitant at times.
Gertrude is a developing character who may be seen in many of the plays. Her ties with her son Hamlet and husband, King Claudius, are the most apparent instances. She consoles Hamlet following his father’s death in Act 1 and urges him to continue. Gertrude’s motives and goals are ambiguous; she does not speak in soliloquies.
Good Hamlet, cast thy nighted colour off,
And let thine eye look like a friend on Denmark.
Do not for ever with thy vailed lids
Seek for thy noble father in the dust:
Thou know’st ’tis common; all that lives must die,
Passing through nature to eternity.
(Act 1, Scene 2)
In Act 2, the woman is shown to be two-faced as a result of her doubt regarding love for two people. She’s lustful and her son rejects such conduct. He also despises her marriage with King Claudius because he believes it was a betrayal.
Hamlet regards Gertrude’s quick remarriage as an example of avarice on her part. Throughout the first two acts, Gertrude has been characterized as a vain creature preoccupied with external pleasures. In Act 3, she is still seen as a mother who wishes others to assist in healing her wounded kid.
In Act 4, the protagonist’s personality is further developed. Gertrude grows increasingly uncomfortable and frantic as a result of her discussion with her son.
She rushes to King Claudius and claims that Hamlet murdered Polonius, prompting him to accuse her of madness. As a consequence, she begins to act sweet and kind, especially during Ophelia’s funeral. Her subjects accept her comfort-loving and pleasure-obsessed attitude, as well as her innocence.