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The Delay Of Hamlet Essay

1830 words - 7 pages

Taking revenge against his enemy can be a difficult task for young Hamlet, especially when the circumstances and conditions he is under require him to reevaluate his morals of life and soul. The delay in Hamlet’s revenge of his father’s death is caused by three main reasons: he is under strict and almost impossible guidelines laid out by the ghost of his father, King Hamlet, he is afraid of death either suffering it or inflicting it on someone else, and his lack of reasoning in committing a murder that he did not witness himself.
When the ghost of King Hamlet first appears to young Hamlet, he injunctions three requirements he needs Hamlet to act upon. Revenge his father’s death, do not emotionally affect his mother, Gertrude, with the killing of her new husband, Claudius, and to not let himself go insane by trying to accomplish these vital tasks. Hamlet is bewildered, overwhelmed, and shocked with what the ghost of his father told him, and responds with “ haste me to know’t, that I, with wings as swift as mediation or the thoughts of love, may sweep to my revenge” (1.5.29-31). This response from young Hamlet makes the audience believe that the plot against Claudius will be very swift. Yet on the other hand you get this sensitive side from the response because Hamlet compares the quickness of taking revenge, to the pace two people falling in love with each other. Eventually the revenge of his father’s death takes place, but not until the very end of the play, and the way Hamlet took revenge against Claudius is not how he had planned on doing it. Hamlet wanted the revenge of Claudius to be a very quick and a secret like task, yet his own emotions and conscience caused the murder to be a complete massacre and tragedy. The injunction to not affect his mother, Gertrude, is another big reason why Hamlet delays in the killing of his father. Even though Hamlet eventually hurts his mother later on in the play, he keeps it in the back of his mind that he is not to hurt her. When his anger with Claudius builds up though, Hamlet verbally attacks Gertrude but she believes he is just letting out rude gestures and comments to her because his father recently died. The audience sees in Act III though that the stress of getting revenge really gets to Hamlet. Young Hamlet begins to lash out at Gertrude for the marriage of Claudius. Even though he did not break the injunction to not hurt his mother with the killing of her husband, Hamlet is on the border line of doing so. While he is verbally and physically attacking Gertrude in her room his insanity gets to him. Hamlet was trying to wait for the perfect time to attack and fulfill his father’s commands yet he broke one of the most important guidelines, not to go insane himself. His insanity drove the procrastination onward even more. When Hamlet killed Polonius it completely switched the play around showing that Hamlet’s madness could cause him to actually go through with murder. By killing an...

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