After repeated erratic threats towards his mother to no response, Hamlet threatens to discover the true nature of Gertrude's character by setting up a mirror, at which point she projects a killer: In the 1919 essay "Hamlet and his problems" T. Eliot suggests that the main cause of Hamlet's internal dilemma is Gertrude's sinful behaviour. is a play dealing with the effect of a mother's guilt upon her son." In 1924, the social reformer Lillie Buffum Chace Wyman published a study, Gertrude of Denmark: An Interpretive Romance, an early attempt to give Gertrude's own perspective on her life and the events of the play.
Wyman explicitly "interrogates the nineteenth-century cult of the self-sacrificing mother", critiquing the influence it had on interpretations of the play by both male critics and actresses playing Gertrude.
In Heiner Müller's vanguard play Hamletmachine, Gertrude is referred to "the bitch who bore" Hamlet.
In Giannina Braschi's political farce United States of Banana, based on Shakespeare's Hamlet and Pedro Calderón de la Barca's Life is a Dream, a 21st-century Gertude marries the King of the United States of Banana and liberates the Puerto Rican prisoner Segismundo from the dungeon of the Statue of Liberty.
In the 1940s, Ernest Jones—a psychoanalyst and Freud's biographer—developed Freud's ideas into a series of essays that culminated in his book Hamlet and Oedipus (1949).
Influenced by Jones's psychoanalytic approach, several productions have portrayed the "closet scene", where Hamlet confronts his mother in her private quarters, in a sexual light.In this reading, Hamlet is disgusted by his mother's "incestuous" relationship with Claudius while simultaneously fearful of killing him, as this would clear Hamlet's path to his mother's bed.Carolyn Heilbrun's 1957 essay "Hamlet's Mother" defends Gertrude, arguing that the text never hints that Gertrude knew of Claudius poisoning King Hamlet.In Ryan Imhoff's Chicago production of "The Hamlet Project", Gertrude is played by critically acclaimed actress Angela Morris.Tabu played Gertrude who was named Ghazala in the 2014 acclaimed Bollywood adaptation of Hamlet, Haider.It could be argued that as she does not confess to any sins before she dies, she did not participate in her husband's murder.However, other considerations do point to Gertrude's complicity.Indeed, they are famously mentioned in Hamlet, in which a group of travelling actors has left the city due to rivalry with a troupe of "little eyases" (unfledged hawks).Eileen Herlie portrayed Gertrude in Laurence Olivier's 1948 Hamlet.When the Ghost of her former husband appears to Hamlet, he describes her as a "seeming virtuous queen", but orders Hamlet not to confront her about it and leave her judgement to heaven.However, his love for her while living was benevolent, as Hamlet states that his father would have held back the elements if they "visited her face too roughly".