How Does Shakespeare Present the Relationship Between Parents & Children?

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Shakespeare presents the relationship between Hamlet and his mother the fact that Gertrude has no control over her son, Hamlet also shows no respect for his mother and he seems very angry and disgusted with her in the way she has acted since his father’s death. Lastly, Hamlet’s mother seems not to understand the change in Hamlet’s attitude recently. Gertrude’s lack of control over Hamlet is expressed through the term of address, “Sweet Hamlet”, as the adjective ‘sweet’ shows care and affection towards her son like she is trying to remind Hamlet of the past relationship they once had in the past. This term of address also has connotations of childhood as it feels like this may have been what Gertrude called her son when he was younger and this is reminding Hamlet that he is still her child and she is still his mother. This is a way that Gertrude is trying to take back control by putting Hamlet in his place and trying to make him remember who he is talking to. The use of the imperative and anaphoric repetition, “speak no more”, is another example of how Gertrude has no control over Hamlet as she has to change the tone of how she tells him to “speak no more”. The first time she says it in a sweeter tone to try and make Hamlet stop but that doesn’t get through to her son so she changes her tone when repeating “speak no more” to a firmer tone to gain some control. The interjection, “O”, used by Gertrude sets the tone of how upset she is and has had enough of Hamlet’s words. The fact that she is the one who is upset and asking Hamlet to “speak no more”, which follows the interjection, clearly shows that Hamlet is the one in control. Hamlet also uses emotional blackmail to control his mother as she cannot stand the here what Hamlet is saying to her. The simile, “these words, like daggers”, is evidence for this as Hamlet’s words towards his mother are too painful for her
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