By John Updike
Gertrude and Claudius are the "villains" of Hamlet: he the killer of Hamlet's father and usurper of the Danish throne, she his lusty consort, who marries Claudius earlier than her past due husband's physique is chilly. yet during this imaginitive "prequel" to the play, John Updike makes a case for the royal couple that Shakespeare purely hinted at. Gertrude and Claudius are obvious afresh opposed to a history of fond intentions and relations disorder, on a level darkened by way of the ominous shadow of a sullen, erratic, disaffected prince. "I was hoping to maintain the feel light," Updike stated of this novel, "to circulation from the mists of Scandinavian legend into the sunlight surroundings of the Globe. I sought to relate the romance that preceded the tragedy."
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Extra resources for Gertrude and Claudius
I’m going to France! France! ” she shouted. “I’m going to live in a castle! Castle! Castle! ” she asked the portrait of Bia. ” Caitlyn dropped onto the mattress, rolled onto her back, and kicked her feet in the air like a manic puppy. She read the letter yet again, then lay it over her face and closed her eyes, savoring the moment of pure happiness. She was leaving Spring Creek. Against all odds, she’d received her Get Out of Jail Free card. She sent an enormous thank-you out into the universe, to whatever force had guided the Fortune School to send her that initial e-mail.
She could feel the warmth of his closeness and smell the hint of a spicy scent on his skin. His knee bumped hers, and she felt an awareness of his presence tingle over her body. She lost herself in the deep hazel of his eyes, where the flame of the candle flickered. As if moved by a force beyond herself, Caitlyn lifted her hand and reached toward his face. A spark of surprise touched his eyes, but he didn’t move away as she lightly touched his cheek. His skin was soft as velvet. Her lips parted on a breath, and she stroked his cheek, feeling the sharp prickle of whiskers roughening his jaw.
As they, too, melted away, vanishing like a vision, she looked forward and saw a field bisected by a column of Roman soldiers marching down a stone road, their leather-clad feet slapping the ground in drumlike rhythm. Their stone road sank away beneath green vegetation, taking the soldiers with it. A herd of strangely horned, enormous cattle grazed in their place beneath a sun that baked Caitlyn’s skin, and when they as well faded away to nothing, Caitlyn felt a chill run over her body, and the landscape turned to blowing snow as far as she could see, as if an ice age had swallowed the land.