William Shakespeare’s play, Hamlet, was full of deceit, and subterfuge. It is as if it were a Chess game brought to life in on a stage. As Chess there are two “Kings”, Prince Hamlet and King Claudius, who control the moves of the other pieces. The others, being the pawns that they are, are maneuvered around, to spin an intracit web of lies and subterfuge. In this web people played people against one another. Each using the other to gain something, whether it is to get revenge, political advancement, or just to keep something wrongfully gained. In Hamlet, there are few people who can be called totally innocent of try to gain anything. Two such people are Queen Gertrude and Ophelia.
Gertrude, if guilty of trying to gain anything, it would be only being guilty of trying to please everyone. She thrived on other people’s happiness. She was the first person used in this play. Claudius, first killed her husband, King Hamlet, and then made her fall in love with him. He did this to gain the throne. She believes that this is the cause of Hamlet’s madness. Gertrude loves her son with a passion boarding on obsession. She seems to need him to live. One of the reasons the king does not just kill Hamlet is because, “The Queen his mother lives almost by his looks.” (224, line 11) She is also used by the King to spy on Hamlet, to see what made him insane, and if he knows that the King killed his father. The Queen also really loves the King, and does not want to see him hurt by Hamlet. However, this love of the king kills her in the end of the play.
Ophelia also loves Hamlet, but she is persuaded by her father not to act on his “tenders”(42, line 104). She believes that she is the cause of Hamlet’s madness, because she did not show him she loved him. She is pushed around by everyone. She is obedient to her father and brother. She is used by her father and the king to spy on Hamlet, but all that does she pushes her towards the brink of insanity. She is confused by Hamlet’s crude speech around her. Ophelia finally goes insane when Hamlet kills her father. She becomes loud and crude, and then in the end, drowns. The only things that linked Ophelia and Gertrude together were their share love for Hamlet, and the ease at which they were used. I believe that Ophelia was Gertrude’s foil, because she was almost like her. Ophelia just handled thing differently then Gertrude.