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Hamlet Essay

802 words - 3 pages


Something was definitely rotten in the state of Denmark: the king was dead of a murder most foul, a betrayal from his own brother, and young Hamlet was thrown out of the frying pan, which was his father’s passing, and into the fire of revenge. One would think that an act of revenge such as this, retribution from an enraged son over the unjust murder of his father, would come about quickly, wildly, and brutally, driven by anger and by rage. This was simply not the case in Shakespeare’s Hamlet, as the young prince unexpectedly drew out his plans for revenge over a rather large amount of time due to his own apparent weakness, inaction. "The smallest deed is greater than the grandest intention." (Raja: Pp 111) Hamlet was full of grand ideas and intentions, but he failed to act and to carry out the deed that was his revenge, the destruction of Claudius. Why did Hamlet choose, and it was a choice, not to take revenge on Claudius quickly and decisively? Hamlet had his own reasons for inaction; the strategy that he felt best suited his revenge.

Hamlet was undoubtedly an incredible intellectual, and throughout the play it seemed as though the thoughts of his mind came too quickly for the actions of his body to keep up with. This intellectual quality provided a roadblock for Hamlet’s taking a quick revenge on Claudius. Nearly all of Hamlet’s actions, with the exception of his outburst at Ophelia’s grave, were preplanned and precisely calculated. His inborn thought process prolonged his revenge, and while Hamlet may have appeared listless with inaction, the wheels in his mind never stopped turning. Hamlet questioned everything, including the validity of his own father’s ghost, and this questioning slowed down Hamlet’s ability to take action. The young prince may have thought too much for his own good at times; he wrestled with many ideas, thoughts, and feelings over the course of the play, delaying any real action until the time, in his eyes, was right.

Hamlet was very much a perfectionist in revenge. He wanted everything to be perfect, and this caused him to take unusual and unique steps to gain his revenge on Claudius. Hamlet’s play within a play, a brilliant scheme in which he caught the conscience of the king, was a prime example of the young prince’s need for perfection in revenge. Inaction resulted from this perfectionistic nature. Hamlet missed golden...

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