Hamlet In Depth

Essay by JMillze July 2014

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Act I, scene v (Analysis) I - Hamlet's Delay

• Frequent theme in the play : Hamlet will be seen to procrastinate throughout the play

with respect to the business of avenging his father's death by killing Claudius

• Hamlet takes too long to get with his agenda of dealing with the ghost's requests (is

avenge old Hamlet's death, drive home enormous guilt into Gertrude's conscience)

• Initially, Hamlet is quite willing to deal with the whole matter rather quickly (29-31)

"Haste me to know't; that I, with sings as swift

As meditation or the thoughts of love,

May sweep to my revenge."

• Initially, Hamlet shows no delay and no procrastination. He wants to take care of if right


• After the ghost's visit(100-105),

"I'll wipe away all trivial fond records,

All saws of books, all forms, all pressures past,

That youth and observation copied there;

And thy commandment all alone shall live

Within the book and volume of my brain,

Unmix'd with baser mater."

• The task of avenging his father's death is his #1 priority and he is determined to do it

right away.

II - About the ghost (again)

• It seems clear after this scene that the ghost is legitimate and somewhat honourable

• However, there is still uncertainty as to whether it is really Hamlet's father's spirit or an

evil apparition

"Wither wilt thou lead me? Speak; I'll go no further." (1)

• Hamlet is sceptical perhaps from Horatio's warnings



We find out its true nature : I am thy father's spirit (9)

• Shakespeare uses the ghost to explore the afterworld. The ghost reveals facts about

itself and secrets of the afterlife (9-24)

a) it is doom'd for some time to appear as a ghost at night

b) says...