I wrote this for English class and figured I might as well post it. It's a character study of Queen Gertrude from Shakespeare's Hamlet, which, considering the fact that I am not dead, I do not own.

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Gertrude

My name is Dinah, the child who lost her innocence.

The animal inside my heart is a dove: quite, trusting, docile.

In my heart lies a poisoned union—both the pearl which killed my body and the marriage seemed do beautiful but destroyed my heart and soul.

The word on my forehead is blind, because the truth was always in front of my eyes, but I was too ashamed and frightened to let myself see.

The sound that I love is the sound that I hate: The sound of my dear son's voice; so precious because it is part of my Hamlet, but so painful because of the words that it says.

I love the smell of Claudius's skin when he holds me close, but I hate it because I love it still, though I finally know who he truly is.

The time of day that I enjoy the most is just after I wake up, when I can pretend that the man lying next to me is not my second husband but a man who combines the best of both; the nobility and strength that I saw in Hamlet and the tenderness that I only ever found in his brother. It is also then that I can pretend that my son does not hate me, and that I do not understand why.

If my hands could speak, they would tell of the differences between two kings: How one clutched them strongly in fingers rough and calloused from holding a sword, while the other stroked them lovingly with a courtier's smooth skin. They felt safe when they touched the first, but he was so rarely there and, when he was gone, the second took his place. In the second king's grasp, my hands found happiness.

My hands found their heart in the second king, but they found their soul in the first; when they betrayed one for the other, both were lost.

When I was a child I studied the bible, and I learned that the first murderer had killed his own brother. I also learned that he later had many descendants. I wondered how this was possible, for at the time I still believed that love was required for children to be born, and surely no one could love a monster like Cain.

I now know better.

My mother used to tell me to follow my heart.

If only I had not listened…

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My English teacher liked it; did you?