In Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Hamlet and Gertrude’s relationship is greatly af? icted by his mothers decisions in life. The way that Hamlet responds to his mother’s remarriage of his mother after King Hamlet’s death is the spark plug which ignites the distress in the mother, son relationship. Hamlet feels that his father who was “so loving to (his wife)” (1. 2. 140) was utterly betrayed by his mother because she only waited until his father was “but two months dead—nay, not so much, not two” (1. 2. 138) before she could not handle the mourning no longer and married Claudius.
He feels that his mothers rush to remarry, and lack of mourning over King Hamlet’s death is mere proof of her disloyalty to both his father and him. Hamlet takes his mothers actions so to heart that he from then on denounces women completely, venting that “frailty, thy name is woman! ” (1. 2. 146).
Due to Hamlets strong feelings of betrayal from his mother, his anger towards women leads to him comparing her to an animal, saying that “a beast that wants discourse of reason would have mourned longer! ” (1. 2. 150). Hamlet begins to express his anger for his mother with candidness. Hamlets strange interest in Gertrude’s marriage and sex life with his uncle only then puts further distress between mother and son. After Gertrude marries Claudius, Hamlet is outraged and says she has been going into “incestuous sheets.” (1. 2. 157).
He than later in the play tries to humiliate her for what he thinks to be her lack of loyalty, accusing her of having slept “in the rank sweat of an enseamed bed, stewed in corruption, honeying and making love over the nasty sty. ” (3. 4. 103). The ever increasing anger and disgust towards his mother, whom he believes to be un-loyal and weak to his father is what continues to strain the mother, son relationship throughout the play.