Gertrude

Right now, the statistics show that about 50% of marriages end in a divorce. 

Sometimes, I wonder if the divorce is caused because the couple weren’t such a good match in the first place or if they didn’t try hard enough to stay together. And after reading the first act of Hamlet, I wondered if marriages could just be a strategic move.

I was a little shocked, and to be honest, repulsed that Gertrude married Claudius, the brother of her former husband. When I was reading it, I was just thinking, “Ophelia, you’ve known Claudius for two decades as your brother-in-law. And now he’s your husband?!” I was disgusted. And apparently, so was Hamlet, Ophelia’s son, because he said:

… That it should come to this.
But two months dead—nay, not so much, not two.
So excellent a king, that was to this

Hyperion to a satyr. So loving to my mother

That he might not beteem the winds of heaven
Visit her face too roughly.—Heaven and earth,
Must I remember? Why, she would hang on him
As if increase of appetite had grown
By what it fed on, and yet, within a month—
Let me not think on ’t. Frailty, thy name is woman!—
A little month, or ere those shoes were old
With which she followed my poor father’s body,
Like Niobe, all tears. Why she, even she—
O God, a beast that wants discourse of reason
Would have mourned longer!—married with my uncle,
My father’s brother, but no more like my father
Than I to Hercules. Within a month,
Ere yet the salt of most unrighteous tears
Had left the flushing in her gallèd eyes,
She married. O most wicked speed, to post
With such dexterity to incestuous sheets!
It is not nor it cannot come to good,
But break, my heart, for I must hold my tongue.
In short, Hamlet was disturbed at how quickly his mother had married, and to his uncle no less! Hamlet wishes for his mother to mourn longer and laments that his uncle is nothing like his father. However, even though Hamlet knows the marriage will not “come to good”, he will hold his tongue.
I am interested in how the play will turn out. I’m hoping that the “1 in 2 marriages end in divorce” statistic ends up applying to  Gertrude and Claudius’ marriage because I am still very grossed out by their marriage.
*I’ve included a picture of the painting “Ophelia” that was painted by Millais. I took AP Art History last year and remembered learning about this piece. Although I’m not entirely sure if the painting relates directly to the play (as I have not finished reading it), I will just leave it in my post because I like it.
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