In Shakespeare's Hamlet, the main character continually delays acting out his duty of avenging his father's murder. This essay will discuss how Hamlet's nature and morals (which are intensified by difficult events) prevent him from carrying out the task.
In the opening scenes of the play, the Ghost of Hamlet's late father reveals to him the true means by which King Hamlet died. The Ghost tells Hamlet that Claudius pouring poison into his ear caused his father's death. He exhorts Hamlet to avenge the murder. Hamlet's initial response is to act on the Ghost's exhortation quickly. Hamlet says; "Haste me to know't that I with wings as swift...May sweep to my revenge, (Roberts, pg. 1370)." Yet by the end of the same scene, his reluctance to murder King Claudius is evident. Hamlet says; "This time is out of joint, O cursed spite, that I was ever born to set it right, (Roberts, pg.
1374)." Hamlet is like a soldier that is thrown into a war where he has to do some things he rather would avoid doing, but under the given circumstances he bites his teeth and carries himself well (Stratford, 128). In this war, the circumstances brought on by Claudius's murdering of King Hamlet are Hamlet's enemy. His dead father is the destroyed country, painful truth that leaves so much hatred and resentment in his heart. Being a loyal prince and son, and one whom entire kingdom respected, he should seek revenge and bring justice back in the royal court.
Many theories have been put forward as to the reasons for Hamlet's delay in avenging the King from hereon in. One theory suggests that Hamlet wished to determine the nature of the Ghost before acting, for he says in Act II: Scene 2 that "The spirit I...