Hamlet's Delay

Essay by BenjiGabay10High School, 12th gradeA, November 2011

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Benji Gabay 04/20/2011

Hamlet's Delay in the killing of King Claudius

Hamlet, by William Shakespeare is a tragic play about a man's revenge of his father's death from his uncle and his desire to prove himself as a prestigious son. Hamlet, the King of Denmark and protagonist of the play is mad with grief for his father's murder, his mother's professed betrayal, his uncle's murderous act, and the terror of his encounter with his father's ghost. The ghost of his father tells him that Hamlet's uncle; King Claudius was the one who murdered him, putting him in a state of confusion and delay to avenge his father's death. Shakespeare provides us with several theories about why Hamlet delays his revenge against King Claudius for killing his father.

In the opening scenes of the play, The Ghost of Hamlet's father informs Hamlet that Hamlet's own uncle who is now King murdered him in his sleep by putting poison into his ear and stole the throne along with his wife, Queen Gertrude.

The Ghost encourages Hamlet to avenge the murder of his father. Hamlet's primary reaction to the Ghost's statement is ironic. "Haste me to know't, that I, with wings as swift as meditation or the thoughts of love, May sweep to my revenge" (1.5.7). He seems willing to revenge the "Foul and most unnatural murder" (1.5.7). This is ironic because Hamlet says he will take revenge hastily, although is confused and takes time to think about the consequences. One theory that can be originated for Hamlet's delay is his doubt for the Ghost. He felt the need to determine whether the nature of the Ghost was good or evil. The Ghost being an evil spirit might cause Hamlet to pursue a reckless act of killing his uncle Claudius so Hamlet can...