A Time to Kill
What gets Hamlet to finally act and avenge his father's murder? I think we need to take a closer look at Hamlet, and his state of mind for the answer. Hamlet was a student at the University of Wittenberg when he is called home to bury his father. He wishes to return to school after his father is laid to rest. However he is persuaded to stay against his will, at Elsinore by the King Claudius, his uncle and Queen Gertrude, his mother. Hamlet is extremely intelligent and has a quick verbal wit about him. We see this in his soliloquies and his interaction with other characters in the play. He seems to have his head in a book when he has the chance; learning is his real passion. However he is stuck at the castle where he mopes around in black, mourning his father's death and the recent marriage of his uncle to his mother.
Hamlet is out of place here. He is called to action by his father's ghost to avenge his murder at the hands of Claudius. Hamlet promises his dead father that he will act immediately, but he delays and delays.
Why does Hamlet take so long in avenging his father death? He simply thinks too much. After seeing his father's ghost for the first time he asks himself if the ghost was from heaven or from hell. Is the ghost trying to trick him into an encounter that he will later regret? These thoughts just make Hamlet delay reacting until he finds some concrete evidence against Claudius. This theme of inaction runs throughout the play. After the play, The Mousetrap, Hamlet is positive that Claudius has killed his father and in turn he is now set to kill the...