8. Gertrude from Hamlet by Shakespeare
The fact that she marries her brother in law, who killed her husband, is proof that she’s nuts but what really makes Gertrude a certifiable psycho is that despite all the adultery and killing she tries a little too hard to show compassion to Hamlet giving the kid a serious Oedipus complex.
Mostly blogging this one because Gertrude’s on the list. I’m not sure I even agree. I tend to have more sympathy for Gertrude. She certainly never says “Screw what my son thinks, I’m doing what’s right for me.” Maybe she was in an unhappy marriage with Hamlet’s dad and is glad to be free of it. Maybe she was having an affair with Claudius right along. Maybe she’s just still in mourning over her husband so deeply that she doesn’t even fully recognize what she’s done. I’m leaving out the Oedipus stuff, since that’s all baggage that Freud brought to the table well after Shakespeare put words to paper. What do we Shakespeare geeks think? Should she be higher, lower? Is there a better mother to put on the list?