Everything you need to understand or teach Gertrude and Claudius by John Updike.
This story is a prequel to Shakespeare's Hamlet. The King of Denmark marries his bright, lively daughter to the beefy, self-righteous Horwendil the Jute. She wants more from a husband than to be his political prize, but she knows her duty and submits to the marriage. Horwendil becomes King, when her father dies. She bears him a son, Amleth/Hamlet. She is a gracious and dutiful Queen and tries to love her husband and son, who are both remote. She feels empty, that her life is passing her by.
At forty-seven, Gertrude is seduced into a passionate affair by the King's brother, Feng/Claudius, who has loved her devotedly for many years. The King discovers the affair and confronts Claudius. Claudius, threatened with estrangement from Gertrude, conspires with Corambus/Polonius to murder the King. He and Gertrude marry. Claudius wants Hamlet at Elsinore, but Gertrude thinks him a...
Gertrude and Claudius Lesson Plans contain 128 pages of teaching material, including: