Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Incest strikes again

This is the 4th instance of incest we have seen so far in Humanities. Why? Because I guess incest really is the best. In Hamlet, Claudius marries his dead brother's wife Gertrude. Even though they are not technically related, this is still considered incest at the time. I do not understand why they would marry each other even though it was considered incest. I know the English and Spanish royal families committed incest, but I do not know if the same applied to Denmark. Hamlet is shocked at his mother and uncle's action. Perhaps this is an indicator that incest was not accepted.

8 comments:

Rickeia Coleman said...

I think that the fact that we encounter incest so much emphasizes that it is not the best. Obviously, if it was so normal and accepted it wouldn't be pointed out so much in literally every single story we read. Incest was considered a taboo which would've been highly controversial among the Christian audience which would heighten the audiences anger towards Claudius and Gertrude for committing such a sin. Incest is always used to show a breakdown of the family it occurs in or the beginning of the end in a family in the literature we read. Incest is not the best and only brings destruction.

Joseph Martin said...

Shakespeare obviously had a very specific purpose of including incest in Hamlet. It was not necessary for Claudius to marry the former queen for him to still be King, so it has a different implication. I believe that Claudius poisoned King Hamlet because Claudius had an ongoing affair with Queen Gertrude and therefore that Gertrude was in on the murder and okay with it. As Savannah pointed out, it was a common practice for royal families to commit incest in order to keep the royal blood pure, but Shakespeare indirectly references Christian values many times. I do not think that Claudius marries Gertrude to keep the blood pure, but because he is supposed to seem animalistic and would therefore commit incest. the Christian values are used to portray Claudius as a horrible man, which goes back to Hamlet's duty to kill Claudius.

Luke Jeanfreau said...

Like Bruh honestly if if we keep incest there's gotta be some deeper meaning. This has got to prove Freud's oedipus complex. All human beings desperately want commit incest, but since it is unacceptable it is very rarely done.

Savannah Watermeier said...

Why did Claudius become king in the first place? Wouldn't Hamlet become king after his father? Perhaps Shakespeare was trying to develop the story by allowing Claudius to become king and marry the queen. In reality, incest was very common among the royals, so I have to somewhat disagree with Rickeia. But I do agree that incest in front of a Christian audience emphasizes the sin and the evilness of Claudius and Gertrude. I think Joseph is making an important point in saying that Claudius is supposed to seem animalistic, and in turn, so is Gertrude.

Bailey Taylor said...

I think Claudius married Gertrude to ensure his spot on the throne. It may have something to do with an affair beforehand, but honestly Claudius doesn't seem like the type to marry her out of pure passion and love. He's kind of a jerk. In my opinion, he was social climbing and didn't care about the damage it would do to his reputation because he is the king now so it doesn't matter.

Bailey Taylor said...

Another question I have is why didn't anyone at the wedding seem weird about the whole thing? The were all celebrating and clapping for them and completely ignoring the fact that this is incest and King Hamlet JUST died.

Brooke Williamson said...

I think many of the relationships in Hamlet are based more off of societal gains rather than love or emotions. For example, the king and queen are married for benefit to their countries rather than for true love.

Julia Scofield said...

incest continues to be a controversial subject. For some, Claudius for example, it is the best. He is able to cement his role as king by marrying the queen. This makes it easier for the people to accept and make his transition smoother. For Hamlet, incest is not the best. He is forced to watch his mom marry his uncle, in addition to emotionally dealing with the knowledge that his father murdered his uncle. Also, his mother, in addition to committing incest, she may have had knowledge of, and even condoned the murder of her husband.