Hamlet's procrastination

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorHigh School, 12th grade February 2008

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At the beginning of Shakespeare's play Hamlet discovers that his father, King Hamlet, has been murdered. Hamlet discovers this when Horatio calls for him to come out to the battlement where a ghost has been seen. The ghost speaks with hamlet in private and divulges to him that King Hamlet was murdered by Hamlet's Uncle, the new King Claudius. But after finding out that his father was really murdered he does not immediately take his revenge and kill King Claudius. Instead, Hamlet waits until the end of the play before he takes his revenge. There are a number of reasons why Hamlet waits to kill King Claudius instead of killing him immediately after he finds out his father was murdered.

After hearing from the ghost that Claudius had murdered his father, Hamlet is enraged and vows to avenge his death. Hamlet becomes extremely angry and is serious about the vow he makes to the ghost.

He does not immediately take his revenge because after he calms down, Hamlet reflects upon seeing the ghost. The reflection upon the ghost leaves Hamlet apprehensive about whether or not the ghost really told him his father had been murdered. He tells Horatio that "the spirit that I have seen may be a devil." Hamlet does not want to take his revenge until he is sure that Claudius was the one who killed his father. So he puts off killing Claudius until he has evidence that proves Claudius killed his father.

Hamlet gets the proof that he wanted when the traveling actors come to the castle. Hamlet asks them to perform a play with a similar plot to what King Claudius did; a king is murdered by his brother and entices his brother's wife to marry him. He is sure that Claudius...