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[Read pdf] Gertrude and ClaudiusAuthor John Updike – Wildlives.co

Using Details Of The Ancient Scandinavian Legends That Were The Inspiration For Hamlet, John Updike Brings To Life Gertrude S Girlhood As The Daughter Of King Rorik, Her Arranged Marriage To The Man Who Becomes King Hamlet, And Her Middle Aged Affair With Her Husband S Younger Brother As Only He Could, Updike Recasts A Tale Of Medieval Violence And Presents The Case For Its Central Couple That Shakespeare Only Hinted At Gertrude S Warmth And Lucidity, Claudius S Soldierly Yet Peaceable Powers Of Command Are Seen Afresh Against A Background Of Fond Intentions And Familial Dysfunction, On A Stage Darkened By The Ominous Shadow Of A Sullen, Disaffected Prince


10 thoughts on “Gertrude and Claudius

  1. says:

    John Updike chose to carry out a difficult task He imagined and created the complex relationship between Gertrude and Claudius before the climax of the events that consist Shakespeare s masterpiece One could say that this is an attempt of a prequel to Hamlet and as such it has the quality of the majority of prequels and sequels in Literature and in Cinema It falls frightfully short.Even as I m writing this review, I am unable to understand how I feel about this book It left me completely indifferent, it didn t create any feelings in me, any images in my mind I cannot say I hated it because hate needs a whole array of feelings to be invoked and those were simply absent here Updike s writing was completely empty, devoid of any warmth and soul, any real sentiment that would be required when an author is dealing or messing with the task to breathe new life to the Bard s larger than life characters.If I want to be honest, I need to say that I never considered Gertrude a villain However, neither she nor Claudius are particularly interesting characters Naturally, Hamlet erases all, but Laertes, Ophelia, Horatio are people I would like to read about So are Gertrude and Claudius I ve often wondered about the marriage between Hamlet s parents Was it happy Was Gertrude aware of her brother in law s intentions These are questions that have been plaguing scholars for centuries Updike presents his own vision, which I won t spoil here, and it is quite plausible The problem is that it s inconsistent with the characters he reconstructed He managed to turn the infamous couple into a snooze fest, people who speak like automatons, without any substance They re not even archetypes, they re plain air.There is nothing they offer to the reader Even Polonius who s named Corambis here after the version of the Bad Folio becomes boring than our familiar Shakespearean councillor Well, at least that s an achievement there for you Where is Hamlet, you may ask Hamlet is completely absent for the majority of the narration and thank Jesus and Mr Wednesday and all the Old Gods and the New for that, because who knows what treatment would be in store for our beloved, melancholic, black clad Prince of Denmark In the few lines that are uttered by Gertrude, Hamlet isn t positively portrayed Yes, Updike creates the Queen as an unloving, cold mother whose only thoughts are how to fall in bed with her husband s brother Forgive me, but I have lost count on how many times I have read Hamlet and I ve never thought that she was distant, devoid of maternal feelings Many of the excellent reviewers here have already mentioned the writing issues so I won t bore you further Updike attempted to create a kind of pseudo medieval language In my opinion,it didn t work to the advantage of the story It was exactly this issue that made every interaction so dry it was almost unbearable The fact that Claudius uses the word connoisseur or speaks Italian and Spanish interrupting his speech was something I couldn t take seriously Not to mention, that the writer had the audacity to insert quotes from Shakespeare s play in the dialogues.Updike is an author I wasn t familiar with before I read Gertrude and Claudius and I don t intend to try my luck with any other book of his In our times,we have experienced examples of re imagining Shakespeare with beautiful results Unfortunately, this novel wasn t true to the Bard and to the nature of his characters It wasn t even respectful Perhaps, Hamlet and his troubled family should be left alone by nowNo need to torture them


  2. says:

    In grade 11 English, I read Hamlet for the first time Back then, Shakespeare wasn t an author I independently found brilliant he was just a guy I felt I had to love you know that kid the one who loves English class and passionately devotes themselves to the classics because they don t have their own taste yet that was meee Still I had my favourites And I remember, vividly, reading Hamlet and watching Kenneth Branagh s adaptation in my last November of high school and falling, so hard I wrote my assignments ravenously obsessed with Ophelia s character, mad for her relationship with Hamlet, aching for the language Much than a favourite, even then.As with all of Shakespeare s bests Hamlet returns to me, often without expectation or warning At first, it came to me for Ophelia, for Hamlet and Ophelia, for the darkness and the angst of both Later the existentialism, the allegory Always the language The power of this play, of all his plays, rests in the stunning possibility of the text the throwaway lines that run rampant, allowing for every charged little heart head combination to play at interpretation And you can t genuinely read Hamlet without your heart.Textual possibilities, sometimes, get realized sometimes in academia, sometimes in conversation, sometimes in fanfiction And my friends, if you for a hot minute do not consider Gertrude Claudius or Rosencrantz Guildenstern, for that matter fanfiction you have no idea what fanfiction actually is John Updike take it to A03 You re a fic writer And this exploration of possibility, this gorgeous writing, this alternate perspective, this elaboration, this explosion of beauty this is fanfiction at its goddamn finest Because, you see, here s the thing I finished this book vibrating, prisming, eyes wide at 1am Thinking to myself I know what comes next. My entire interpretation of the play shifted sideways Desperate to teach it differently this year And if it hadn t been about Hamlet s mother, his uncle, if it hadn t subtly referenced quotations and moments from a play so meditated upon If it had just been a story about a torrid middle aged affair in medieval Denmark, would it have left such a bleeding goddamn wound Maybe it is objectively gorgeous, the characterization fantastic, the tension between Gertrude and Claudius fucking palpable But I doubt it This book sparkles on its own, but Hamlet spins it into a supernova.This isn t a bad thing It s just something to acknowledge no review is objective What we have loved and hated always leads us one way or another.And of course these things change I am 30 no longer a little 16 year old snorting at Hamlet s wordplay and eyes wide at Ophelia s madness They still twist in me, will always twist in me but I am older The possibilities of Gertrude, of Claudius, of their story so artfully, so heartwrenchingly, articulated here are starting to twist profoundly.This book stands on its own, without question, and Updike can t wait for of ya shit, buddy.But I come away glassy eyed at the genius of Shakespeare his plays laid bare by centuries of exploration, and the realization that, actually, we ve barely taken off the winter coat.And guys, fanfiction don t you sell that shit short it s doing some heavy, gorgeous work Soundtrack Beautiful Machines Bridges album, specifically Real Love


  3. says:

    Premessa non cercato, capitato per caso in casa mia e poi ruzzolato sul mio comodino.Non male l idea del prequel dell Amleto, per il resto la solita storia di infedelt coniugale si lascia leggere, per carit , ma in giro se ne trovano a dozzine consigliato solo agli amanti del genere.Ultima osservazione di natura sociologica vi si ritrova l antico complesso d inferiorit degli scandinavi nei confronti di noi mediterranei, ma, purtroppo per noi, anche questa acqua passata.


  4. says:

    Gerutha marries Horwendil and has son Hamleth but falls in love with her husband s brother Feng I mean, Geruthe Horvendile Hamblet Fengon I mean, Gertrude Hamlet Hamlet Claudius Why do their names keep switching, again I hadn t meant to go on a Hamlet fanfic kick, I swear I d only wanted to try reading Updike for the sake of being well read But the library only had the most recent Rabbit book So I grabbed this one instead Oy I can t decide if this lets me off the hook from ever reading Updike again, or whether I chose a minor work failure and really should give him a second try for fairness sake.The pretentiousness of the language in this book knows no bounds I suppose he s trying to sound Shakespearean Danish epic y literary all at the same time It ends up with just these endless rolling phrases that will not stop despite your desperation to get to the end of a freaking paragraph Also deeply problematic is the repeated assertions that Gerutha does some action or feels a certain way because of her womanly nature Over and over and over again, we re reminded that because she s female, she s inherently weak Repeatedly we re told that she has trouble keeping one man in mind while another one is before her Now, there s a certain degree that s historically accurate But honestly, it s said so many times, by so many people including the narration, that I can t help but begin to feel that Updike genuinely believes that all women share a certain softness, warmness, motherliness, weakness that s inherent to all, interchangeable, women.The weirdest part is the changing names As time passes and Gerutha grows from a teenager to the mother of a thirty year old man, periodically everyone s names will shift with little or no explanation At the same time, I feel like the language becomes slightly less overwrought and slightly modern with each shift, to end in something like a literary modern translation of Shakespeare instead of a ridiculously ornate attempt to sound like a badly written fantasy novel with too many literary flourishes I suppose there s supposed to be a deep meaning here, as the Danish kingdom becomes less pre medieval and pre Renaissance with the increase in knowledge being passed back from the universities Or maybe it s that the story becomes less archaic simplistic about a girl who marries a king and modern about complex family drama Honestly, though, it s just pretentious and annoying.Unforgivably, though, this sheds no new light on the story for me I feel like the reason to rewrite a classic work of literature from someone else s view is to bring a new perspective There s nothing new here Claudius killed his brother so he could have his brother s wife and crown Gertrude screwed him anyway Hamlet s a self absorbed asshole Yay And


  5. says:

    Entering Kornborg Castle in Denmark requires the visitor to not only approach the castle on foot, but to also cross two moats It is after the first moat, the one with the swans, that Kornborg s purpose becomes manifest It is quite clear that the purpose of the structure is not to be a castle but to be a fortress and to enforce the collection of sound duties for which it was built The harsh fact of warfare greets the visitor with an absence There was a beautiful fountain until the Swedes invaded and stole it don t worry, plenty of things in Denmark were taken from the Swedes, so it all works out Kornborg lacks the charm of a Renaissance palace such as Rosenberg Castle It is stark This is not to say the castle is not fascinating Of particular interest to a visitor are the casements Once a part of the castle that served as barracks, which constantly flooded, today the casements house pickled herring and Holger the Dane Kornborg s, and its town, claim to fame lie in their association with a famous work of literature, Hamlet, and the castle itself is better known as Helsingor Castle Helsingor being the town.The town capitalizes heavily on its connection with one of the world s most famous plays There is Hamlet s well, Hamlet s tree, and Ophelia s grave, which is in a park that seems way too close to a casino Strangely, she is also the only the grave there Despite these relics, the town does not seem to embody the play It is too charming, and not at all melancholy But Kornborg Castle is a different story entirely The castle breathes power and melancholy Perhaps this is due to the connection to a fictional depressed prince Perhaps it is due to the unpleasant living conditions that the soldiers had to suffer though, wading though ankle deep water in their sleeping quarters More likely, it is due to the fact that Queen Caroline was imprisoned here after her coup against her husband, Christian VII, whose sanity was not stable and whose lover was Katrine with the Boots Queen Caroline lost power, saw her lover beheaded, was imprisoned and never saw her son or daughter again Eventually, she was sent into exile That s not only sad, it s tragic.Because of its starkness and mood, Kornborg suits the story of Hamlet perfectly What better setting for a story of palace murder, incest, death, and sex Apparently, there are many better settings because very few adaptations seem to make use of the castle Brannagh s excellent movie version of the play would ve been out of place at Kornborg Brannagh s Hamlet is too much of a Renaissance prince What about Gibson, you ask That was Medieval True, but it lacked the Sound, which has become a part of the castle itself And Olivier s There is not enough room for the funeral procession at Kornborg.John Updike, however, presents the story of Hamlet in such a way that it finally seems to take place in Kornborg Castle.The plot of Updike s novel is concerned about what happen prior to the start of the famous play He gives the reader the back story of Gertrude, Claudius, and Hamlet Sr as well as bit information about Polonius and Ophelia.Updike uses the langue to capture the feeling and place He melds Shakespeare with the original story The book reads like the bastard child of Shakespeare and a scop It is startling, but strangely enough it works.The character that shines the most is Gertrude Updike draws from Shakespeare s presentation but deepens the character The reader sees her drafted into a marriage that she does not want, of her peace with that marriage, of her sleeping The reader sees her awakened as a person, finally living instead of just being the cipher she is though Hamlet s eyes.Claudius too is as close to redeemed as anyone can bring him Updike paints him almost as a knight errant, whose feelings for Gertrude never seem in doubt This matches the play, for Claudius loves Gertrude his afterword, Updike hints that he wrote the book in part to offer solutions to those puzzling questions of Hamlet, such as the age of Hamlet, the time of the story, as well as the cover up Updike does this well and with a degree of believability More importantly, he gets the attentive reader to think deeply about the play, and challenges the readily accepted and established view.de up until the end, where he decides he loves his life and power and then is killed Additionally, Updike shows a man who is perhaps like his brother than he realizes, and what power and the desire to keep it, can do.Hamlet is present, though in a shadowy, forceful and threatening way Here, Hamlet becomes the rotten aspect of Denmark The book, like the play it draws from, is a tragedy, for the reader knows the final fate of all those involved It is this tragic, futile, melancholy feeling that matches the castle of Kornborg so well It is wonderful to read the story of Hamlet set in the correct place and time.


  6. says:

    It makes me smile when I read through some of the reviews for this book People take a personal affront from Updike for even using beloved Hamlet as a backdrop The ludicrously pretentious comments on the language, and motivations of characters Like all Updike novels, it is written beautifully Never at any moment did Updike even attempt to sound like Shakespeare How could he Really, I would recommend this book for people who haven t read Hamlet, or at least people not in love with it.I have read Hamlet, in fact every Shakespeare play, which isn t my favorite I find it fascinating to see what one the greatest American writers thought of Hamlet Long story short, it was an entertaining novel, that takes nothing away nor adds anything to the Shakespearian play, Hamlet Take it as it is people


  7. says:

    3 1 2 starsThis Hamlet prequel is carefully and delicately crafted, and I loved Updike s portrayal of the characters Since I m in a Hamlet seminar, we ve been playing around with the circumstances surrounding King Hamlet s death, and I m fond of this version that Claudius and Gertrude loved each other well before the murder Updike made Claudius exactly as he should be sexy and only as villainous as he needs to be Gertrude was a bit too passive and lovable for my taste, as I ve always thought of her as a beautiful powerful woman, yet I did like seeing her this way I simply loved that Hamlet was a minor character, and that it was all told from Gertrude s point of view I ve really never liked Hamlet, and have always thought him whiny and self serving Laertes is my favorite character in the play Oh, I almost forgot Ophelia was perfect Wispy and ethereal, with the ability to go insane quite easily I also quite liked the subtle use of Hamlet quotes worked into the text Brilliant.


  8. says:

    i was looking for something different than the modern novels i usually read and found it i dont really know the story of Hamlet so was not preoccupied with the trajectory of the characters but was intrigued that this was a prequel to the famous Shakespeare story the characters in this northern european kingdom, transitioning from paganism to christianity, are not fully developed and are like actors on a stage fittingly Updike s beautiful prose evokes a tragic castle in a far away time and land of cold, low light on the bogs where kings and queens try to create their own destinies but are burdened to follow the cruel, fatal steps of so many royal lineages short, fun read beautifully spun language.


  9. says:

    If you have ever read Updike, his plots are seldom far from his penchant adultery struggle between moral confines and open sexuality Which is why you don t read Updike for his plots you read him almost entirely for his style He s a wordsmith, who takes time with every turn of phrasing It makes him a tiresome read for any but those who appreciate linguistic play just for its cleverness Presumptuous, but still, well deserving of its accolades.


  10. says:

    Dazzling backstory to the Hamlet play