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Hamlet and Where are You Going, Where have you Been? Essay

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Mr. Wrong in Hamlet and Where are You Going, Where have you Been?  


This essay will consider how the character Gertrude from Hamlet and the character Connie from "Where are You Going, Where have you Been?" both end up with the wrong man. The essay will compare how these "wrong men" were alike and why Gertrude and Connie may have fallen for them.

Gertrude was married to someone else when she fell for Claudius. The play indicates that he started wooing her long before Hamlet's father was dead, hence their getting married so quickly after his death. "Within a month, ere yet the salt of most unrighteous tears had left the flushing in her galled eyes, she married." Connie was single when Arnold Friend approached her, but she had been out on dates with other boys, such as Eddie at the drive-in. Arnold wasn't the first young man who ever paid attention to her. In both cases, Gertrude and Connie chose the worse man when they had something better. This is obvious in Gertrude's case. The Ghost says so: "What a falling off was there...to decline upon a wretch whose natural gifts were poor to those of mine," and Hamlet says so to her face: "Could you on this fair mountain leave to feed and batten on this moor?" Gertrude does not protest that statement. With Connie, we find out that the other boys she went out with were nice, sweet and gentle, and Connie really liked them. "Her mind slipped over onto thoughts of the boy she had been with the night before and how nice he had been, how sweet it always was…the way it was in movies and promised in songs." Gertrude, also, seemed to really like Hamlet's father, at least at one time. "Why, she would hang on him as if increase of appetite had grown by what it fed on," said Hamlet. Both had...


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...nt at what kind of man Claudius was, whereas we know Connie did have some hint.

In the end, Gertrude ends up dying as a result of her wrong choice and her naivete, and Connie most likely does also. Their naivete ends up becoming their fatal flaw. Gertrude's bad judgement may also have helped bring about the death of all the others, because if she had refused Claudius' advances maybe none of this would have happened. If Connie had called the police, maybe Arnold Friend would have been caught and put in jail. At the very least, if she had not gone with him, at least her family wouldn't have lost their daughter. Both bring destruction not only upon themselves but upon others as well because of their gullibility.

Works Cited:

Korb, Rena. "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?" Short Stories for Students. Ed. Kathleen Wilson. Vol. 1. Detroit: Gale, 1997.


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