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On Hamlets Delay Essay

1582 words - 6 pages

William Shakespeare, perhaps the greatest playwright of all time, authored a number of works consisting of sonnets, comedies, and tragedies. In his brilliant career, Shakespeare created literary works of art. What makes Shakespeare unlike any other writer of his time, or thereafter, is his ability to organize a realistic plot, manage themes, and develop characters within his works. As well, Shakespeare¡¯s ability to provoke feeling and reaction to his writing is also what sets him apart from other common writers.
Of his works, Hamlet is without question the most famous play in the English language. Probably written in 1601 or 1602, the tragedy is a milestone in Shakespeare's dramatic development; the playwright achieved artistic maturity in this work through his brilliant depiction of the hero's struggle with two opposing forces: moral integrity and the need to avenge his father's murder. Although four hundred years has passed, this tragedy has been sparkling with a peculiar beauty of its own. In Hamlet, Shakespeare wrote an incomparable profound tragedy of human spirit from a very common myth and vested the hero Hamlet with deep thoughts and emotions that many people possess. No wonder the famous writer Belinsky exclaimed: ¡°Hamlet ¡­ is really great and profound: this is life, this is human being, this is you, this is me, this is everyone of us.¡±
Hamlet was the young prince of Denmark. His uncle Claudius murdered the old King Hamlet, married the Queen and then became the new king. Early in the play the details of the murder become known to Hamlet, he vows to carry out his revenge, and eventually he does so, bringing the action to a close. But unlike common people who take revenge at the time of knowing the murder, he delayed to take action. Hamlet does not kill Claudius in church, while he has the best chance of doing so up until that point; He is known in the kingdom as a brilliant fencer, and shows his skill in the match with Laertes, after which he is able to cut the king and take the glass of poison from Horatio's hand, all that while dying of deadly poison. What then is the reason for his delay of action? This question has been the field for many literary critics' battles. No doubts, Hamlet had his own reason. And this should be connected with his character.
Hamlet's character shows much discouragement, earnestness, and sensitivity towards his newfound sorrows. While the main, and, most often, the only flaw that has been attributed to Hamlet is his delay. This seems to constitute the central part in Hamlet. Critics seem to cling to this detail, as if trying to save the status of Hamlet as a typical Elizabethan tragedy of revenge. By the definition of tragedy, there should exist a flaw in the character of the main hero, who is a great personality that is engaged in a struggle that ends catastrophically. If Hamlet had no flaw, what kind of tragic hero is he? No doubt, Hamlet is a tragical drama, for it has many characters ¡°from the...

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