Hamlet Character Analysis: Gertrude

  • From the text: In Act 1, scene 2 the character of Gertrude was introduced in the play Hamlet. It is told that she was the wife of the newly deceased King Hamlet and is therefore the Queen of Denmark. Only less than 2 months after her beloved husband’s death, Gertrude has married his brother, Claudius. During this time, some saw a marriage like this to be incestuous. One of the people who views their marriage in this light is young Prince Hamlet, who looks down on his uncle/stepfather. As a result, Hamlet is very disgusted with his mother for marrying Claudius. Gertrude seems a little naive and acts not how a widow in today’s society would act so shortly after the death of her husband if she truly loved him. In Act 1, scene 2, lines 70-75 she tells Prince Hamlet to stop grieving and accept that death is a part of life. She seems to truly care about her son, but will push him to support the new King. In Act 1, scene 5, the ghost of the King tells Hamlet that he should not harm the Queen who was virtuous in their marriage and was simply tricked and seduced by Claudius into marriage, but that when the truth is revealed she will understand her mistake and be overcome with guilt. This shows that the Queen is a good person, but is perhaps afraid of being alone or possesses weak, “feminine” characteristics. In Act 3, scene 4 we get to hear more dialogue from Gertrude as she beckons Hamlet to her chambers to talk. She originally plans to harshly criticize her son for his behavior, but Hamlet takes control of the situation, once again showing Gertrude’s weak or submissive tendencies.

 

  • I think that the character of Gertrude is probably in somewhere in her 40s. Because she is the Queen of Denmark, she is very wealthy and therefore dresses in the finest clothing and is probably very beautiful. If she was a 21st Century woman she would probably be dressed by famous designers and be very dolled up and beautiful for an “older” woman. This character strikes me as very feminine, naive and submissive. She seems to do what is expected of her, or give into whimsical fantasies. She trusts her new husband blindly when in reality she is sleeping with the enemy, the one who killed her true love, the king. In today’s world, Gertrude would probably watch television shows and read books about romance, or maybe she would watch the Real Housewives series. She would be a housewife who would not have to do any work because of her wealth, and is viewed almost as a child, with little power. Even her son has power over her and criticizes her actions. Her parenting style is therefore caring, but lacking in authority. She is someone who cares a lot about her reputation and the reputation of her family. For fun, she would probably shop and do whatever it is that her husband wanted to do. She seems very eager to please and very loyal. Because of her status in a world with many commoners, she probably has very few true friends. This is another thing that keeps her tied to her husband. Despite the fact that a lot of people would probably be miserable in a life like this, I feel that she is probably content.
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Watchmen: A Brilliant Adaptation

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Who watches the Watchmen? Well, fans of the comic book definitely should. While there were some minor changes to the plot of the film adaptation of the famous comic book, Watchmen, fans looking for fidelity will be very pleased with the movie.

While the newspaper articles, police reports, and the portions of Hollis Mason’s novel Under the Hood that were found between the chapters were an interesting addition to the story, I found myself more interested in the comic itself and felt that the additional background information given in these portions were not always necessary. Apparently, the writers of the film adaptation agreed with me on this, as the excerpts were not included and in fact Hollis Mason’s book was hardly even mentioned in the film. I also found myself getting antsy every time there was a scene in the comic that included the newspaper stand. I understand that this gave readers additional insight to the happenings of the time but I found them unnecessary, as I was more interested in what the main characters were doing. Thankfully, these were not included in the film either. Aside from these small changes, the only other key difference that I saw in the film was the actual attack on New York City as planned by our “villain” Viedt. I was so excited to see how it would pan out in the film and was wondering what the octopus-like monster would look. In the end though, I think that it was a wise idea to cut out the monster, as it could have made the movie a little hokey.

With only minimal changes, I feel that the film is most likely accepted by fans of the comic. The casting for this film was absolutely spot-on, as I felt that the characters looked, acted, and talked exactly as a reader of the comic would think that they would. Additionally, exact lines from the comic could be found in the movie and the settings were exactly how they were drawn on the panels of the comic book’s pages. Overall, due to its fidelity, I think that this is one adaptation that most “fan boys” and “fan girls” are probably very pleased with. 

 

Superhero Stories Kick Ass

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Though up until now I had never before read a comic book, I have always been intrigued by the idea of superheroes. I remember being in middle school when the Spiderman movie came out. I immediately fell in love with the concept of real people having awesome powers and using these powers for good. If we lived in a world like the ones found on the pages of comic books, the world could be a little safer, look a little more hopeful, and definitely be a lot more exciting. After seeing Spiderman, I went out and bought the merchandise-notebooks, bags, pencils-falling right into the trap of the franchise. I hadn’t even read the original comic, but I still considered myself a fan, as did countless others who were hooked on the movies.

 In my opinion, you don’t have to have read the comics, or even have the background story, to enjoy comic book-based films. Obviously, I am not alone in having this opinion, as dozens of superhero movies have come out and many have been hugely successful. This is not because everyone has read these comics. In fact, I would assume that the majority of the people seeing these films have little clue about what is going to happen in the plot of these films. The viewers of these films are there to be entertained, to see the action, and to be transported into this world that seems so similar to the reality we live in and yet has a dash of exciting fantasy. The Avengers, as mentioned in class, had one of the highest grossing weekends in the box office. The hundreds of thousands of people who came out to see the film likely did so because they wanted to see the film that brought together the characters of multiple other successful comic book films such as Iron Man, Thor, and Captain America.

While those of us who have not read the comic books that these movies are based on can still enjoy these films, can we consider ourselves true fans? I completely understand why “Fan Boys” and “Fan Girls” would be annoyed at these people who consider themselves fans or even experts when they have not read the original source work. They feel they have earned this status by putting the time into reading and studying these comics. Nevertheless, whatever type of fan you are we can all agree upon one thing: superhero stories kick ass.  

Fake Geek Girls: Dr. Andrea Letamendi’s Article

Jessica Moreno

One Sentence Summary: Letamendi argues (from the perspective of a geek girl) that not all “fan girls” are fake and should not have to face microaggression from anyone.

Paragraph Summary:

Many girls are seen as imposters for being fans of comics. Letamendi argues that this view that fan girls cannot be real fans and be feminine is ludicrous. Many Fan Boys insult, or target these women with microagressions, by saying that these women must have gotten their fandom from men in their lives-brothers, boyfriends, etc. Letamendi argues that comic groups should not assume that female fans are not knowledgeable and that they should not be so exclusive. 

 

Battlestar Galactica: Yet Another Reason I wish I Was Alive in the ’70s

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If I could be a teenager in any decade in American history, I would definitely choose the 1970s. The hair, the music, the fashion, the mindset; I love it all. So much “Pop Culture” emerged in this time period, most of which I learned about through watching VH1’s I love the ‘70s and every episode of That ‘70s Show. During this awesome era, special effects were making major strides and ideas of the future were hugely popular. In the year 1978, the TV series Battlestar Galactica came on the scene, with its sci-fi idea of what the future had in store for the human race. The series took off with a huge following and after seeing the pilot episodes I can understand why. Despite the fact that the special effects seem cheesy to us viewers in 2013, they were exciting and innovative at the time and are still extremely entertaining to watch today. The actors are attractive and endearing (who wouldn’t love a man who made your son a robot dog?) and the plot line is interesting. The idea of a future where robots take over the world is still a relevant idea that strikes the interest of viewers today (hence the creation of a new, re-vamped Battlestar Galactica which came out in 2003). Even though we do not have to worry about Cylons (the closest thing we have is Siri), who knows what our future will hold? Battlestar Galactica offered a suggestion of our future that still seems unimaginable thirty plus years later. However, the point of novels, films and television programs is to push our imagination to the beyond and to entertain us with such outlandish possibilities.
While the 2003 version took a unique approach to the series, modifying characters and scenarios and avoiding replicating the original, I didn’t find it to be something to write home about. Just as I prefer the idea of life as it was in the 1970s, I also prefer Battlestar Galactica as it was in 1978. I know that if I was a teen when this series came out, I would have been clued to the TV. 

Was the Hunger Games a rip off of Battle Royale?

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Prior to viewing Battle Royale, I had no expectations for the film and no idea what the story line would be like. The only thing that I knew about the film was that it had been adapted from a novel (the 1999 novel by Koushun Takami to be more exact). However, I had never read this book and therefore went in with an open mind. Only a few minutes in to the film, it became clear that there were many similarities between Battle Royale and the books of the Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins. Being a huge fan of The Hunger Games books, which I had thought were so unique and imaginative, I was immediately disappointed. After seeing Battle Royale I was left wondering if a truly original literary work could even exist today.

While Suzanne Collins denies that any of her inspiration for her novels stemmed from Battle Royale, this claim is somewhat difficult to believe. For starters, there’s the strikingly similar idea of adolescents being placed on a set piece of land with a tracking device attached to them and any weapons that they can get their hands on being forced to fight to the death until only one survives. The premises of the books/movies could be explained in the exact same way. Additionally, in both cases these children are being forced into the “games” by their governments as a means of eliciting fear in order to prevent uprisings by the populations of their countries. The similarities don’t stop even stop there, as a few details from Battle Royale could also be compared with those from the second book of Collins’ trilogy, Catching Fire (I won’t spoil these similarities for those who haven’t read the book).

Did Suzanne Collins simply appropriate Takami’s concept into her own novel? Was it a subconscious accident? Or did she flat out steal Takami’s idea? Or is she telling the truth when she claims that the Hunger Games came completely from her own imagination? Readers and viewers can form their own opinions, since the truth will likely never be revealed. 

 

The Hunger Games: Katniss Everdeen, My Hero

 

 

 

 

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Just a few months ago, during my summer vacation, I hesitantly decided to finally crack open that book that my best friend let me borrow. After all, she had lent it to me months ago and it had begun to collect dust on my shelf. Due to the fact that my stressful first year in college had just ended, I wasn’t exactly eager to do any more reading, but nevertheless I sat down by the pool and opened up the Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. When I did this, something strange occurred. It was something that has never before happened to me in my life. I literally could not put it down.

I finished the novel in a few hours, stopping only for meals. I was obsessed, intrigued, fascinated, and inspired by this book. The next day, I returned the book to my friend and begged for the second one. I read the next book of the Hunger Games trilogy just as fast as I had read the first one. I was absolutely hooked and this was due most in part because of the character of Katniss Everdeen. She was my new hero, someone that I wanted to model myself after. She was in strong control of her emotions, she was talented and brave, and she was a loyal friend and family member. While she was a kind and beautiful girl, you wouldn’t want to mess with her and she wouldn’t put up with any funny business. Katniss is able to kill enemies with a single shot from her bow and arrow while still maintaining her caring and nurturing side (as shown through her decision to volunteer to take her sister’s place in the games and her decision to risk her life to save Peeta).

To someone who had only seen the movie, it may seem that Katniss is not necessarily deserving of such admiration. In the film, it is difficult to grasp how Katniss is feeling, what she is thinking, what she has been through, and what she is capable of. However, through reading the book one can comprehend all these things, better understand her character, and easily see how many girls would want to be just like the heroin of this book.