Betrayal- Hamlet

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  • Gertrude's Betrayal
  • Ophelia's Betrayal
  • Denmark
  • Polonius's Betrayal
  • Gertrude portrayed the theme of betrayal in TWO major ways. First, she married her husband's brother within two months of his death ( Act 1: Scene 2: Page 11). Next, she proceeded to spy on her own son at the request of both Claudius and Polonius (Act 3: Scene 4: Page 72). Both are seen as betrayal by her late the husband, the Ghost, and Hamlet, her son.
  • Ophelia, although unknowingly, betrayed Hamlet in two ways. Ophelia, at the request of her father, forbade Hamlet from calling on her anymore or from showing any signs of affection towards her (Act 2: Scene 1: Page 32). Secondly, Ophelia spied on Hamlet at the request of her father (Act 3: Scene 1: Pages 54-56). Hamlet, confused by her sudden change in behavior towards him, begins to recognize the betrayal and turn against her for it.
  • Polonius, although technically betraying the crown by spying on Hamlet, showed betrayal most by how he treated his son. Polonius sent his servant man, Reynaldo, to spy and spread slander about his son, Laertes. Polonius's true motivation behind this is never revealed, but we see that Polonius, yet again, shows no real regard for his children (Act 2: Scene 1: Pages 29-31).
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