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 danger to her husband. Claudius... View more of the Gertrude and Claudius Summary
Gertrude and Claudius Lesson Plans contain 128 pages of teaching material, including: