The original Hamlet was written 500 years before Shakespeare was born. Gertrude is one of the original characters in the play. Hamlet's father dies in mysterious circumstances, and before he can claim his birthright, his uncle, the dead kings brother, sweeps in and takes the dead kings crown and his wife, Gertrude, as a trophy. The fact that Gertrude makes nothing of this, suggests that she and Claudius, the usurper, were in colllusion before the now assumed murder of the king. Gertrude is constantly rebuked by her son throughout the play who gives the impression he clearly believes her to be "in", on the murder.