The queen his mother Lives almost by his looks;

Is this true? We don’t see a lot of love between Hamlet and his mother. Mostly Hamlet bullies her and rails at her. Which is not to say she wouldn’t be besotted with him anyway. Most parents love their children in profoundly unconditional ways. But we don’t see Gertrude ADORING Hamlet much. She tells him to cast his knighted color off. She talks about him to others in a fairly practical way. (“I doubt it is no other but the main. His father’s death and our o’erhasty marriage.”) And we don’t see much interaction at the play between them. The most we see them together is right after Hamlet’s killed someone right in front of her. It’s hard to work out their relationship from that.

We could take Claudius at his word here. That he’s trying to placate his queen…but I am skeptical that any of this actually has anything to do what Gertrude actually thinks or wants and everything to do with how Claudius wants to be seen by Laertes.

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