Gertrude, Queen of Denmark

For a 21st Century playgoer, the character of Gertrude in Hamlet, can be somewhat unsatisfactory. Gertrude is given little to say, and an actress or critic often chooses between motivating this enigmatic woman through love for her son, or desire for her new husband. Too often women in art, film, and theatre are defined purely by their relationship to the central male character.

This short film, Gertrude, Queen of Denmark, retells the story of Hamlet from Gertrude's point of view, using Shakespeare's own brilliant and emotive language (just rearranged a little). This Gertrude is not motivated by her relationships to the men in the play, but by her role as 'imperial jointress' of Denmark. We discover Gertrude's responsibility for the deaths of Old Hamlet and Ophelia, and her Machiavellian plotting for the throne. She claims to have acted in the interest of the state, but perhaps she is only driven by ambition. The aesthetic of the film evokes 80s and 90s TV interviews with influential female figures, like Princess Diana and Margaret Thatcher, who, like Gertrude, were aware of the power of 'that distracted multitude'.

I hope you enjoy it!

Watch 'Gertrude, Queen of Denmark' on Vimeo

If you need it, the password is gertrude


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