Compare and contrast the characters of Gertrude and Ophelia, focusing on the following points:
-- To what extent is each of them a victim of what happens?
-- To what extent does each of them cause what happens?
-- Does Gertrude affect Hamlet's relationship with Ophelia? If so, how? Does Ophelia affect Hamlet's relationship with Gertrude? If so, how?
-- How do the other men in the play treat Gertrude and Ophelia? How does that contribute to our overall sense of them? Focus specifically on the ghost, Claudius, Laertes, and Polonius.
-- Does it matter that these are essentially the only two female characters in the play? Why?
One of the major themes in the play is connected to ears, hearing, and trusting what you hear. Identify one or two important moments in each act when that theme comes up. Explain the moment, why it is important, and...
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