Preview
Preview

Hamlet: No Delay, No Play Essay

:: 3 Works Cited
Length: 1693 words (4.8 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Blue      
Open Document




- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, title character in the play of the same name, has been criticized for centuries due to his delay in killing his uncle Claudius and the consequences that occurred as a result. But as one critic once pointed out, “No delay, no play” (Jenkins 137). The entire plot of Hamlet is based on the events that occur due to Hamlet’s waffling as to whether or not he should, and when he should, avenge his father’s murder. Hamlet, who appears to be a Christian man, would be committing a murder regardless of the reasons. This is not something that most would take lightly or rush in to under any circumstances. This discussion will defend Hamlet’s continuous delays by analyzing certain situations in the play which affect his decision to wait to kill Claudius.

Let’s begin this discussion by taking a look at what some of the critics have had to say over the years about Hamlet’s delay. One critic points out that Hamlet would be damning himself by fulfilling the ghost’s demand and “it is understandable that he will not immediately react to its orders until he has tested out the accusations for himself,” (Cowling) a point which will be elaborated later in this discussion. This same critic points out that in Elizabethan times, any ghost that appeared in the context in which the ghost of Hamlet’s father appears would have been considered evil. The ghost moves under the stage, which in Shakespeare’s time was “a theatrical creation of Hell” (Cowling). Should Hamlet so readily believe the words of an evil ghost? This is another point which will be further elaborated later in this discussion. Another conundrum that existed with Elizabethan audiences that modern audiences may have a hard time grasping, is the Elizabethan’s perce...


... middle of paper ...


.... 2004. Web. 27 Dec. 2010.

Cowling, Clare. “Hamlet’s Delay in Killing Claudius.” Suite 101. 8 Oct. 2008. Web.

26 Dec. 2010.

de Grazia, Margareta. "Hamlet before Its Time." Modern Language Quarterly 62.4

(2001): 355. Professional Development Collection. EBSCO. Web. 18 Dec. 2010.

Grady, Hugh. "Hamlet as Mourning-Play: A Benjaminesque Interpretation." Shakespeare

Studies. 135. Rosemont Publishing & Printing Corporation, 2008. MasterFILE

Premier. EBSCO. Web. 17 Dec. 2010.

Jenkins, Harold. Introduction. Hamlet. By Jenkins. Croatia: Methuen & Co. Ltd., 1982.

1-122. Print.

Lucking, David. "Hamlet and the Narrative Construction of Reality." English Studies

89.2 (2008): 152. MasterFILE Premier. EBSCO. Web. 15 Dec. 2010.

Smith, Evans Lansing. "Shakespeare's Hamlet." Explicator 52.3 (1994): 137. MasterFILE

Premier. EBSCO. Web. 12 Dec. 2010.


Click the button above to view the complete essay, speech, term paper, or research paper

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »







This essay is 100% guaranteed.


Title Length Color Rating  
The Delay of Hamlet Essay example - 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....   [tags: Shakespearean Literature ]
:: 4 Works Cited
1600 words
(4.6 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
The Delay in Hamlet’s Revenge Essay example - The Delay in Hamlet’s Revenge         Hamlet's first thoughts after learning of his father's murder are of an immediate, violent revenge upon Claudius. However, his subsequent actions do not live up to these resolutions. Over four acts he takes little deliberate action against his uncle, although the ghost explicitly demands a swift revenge. In S. T. Coleridge's words, Hamlet's central weakness is that he is "continually resolving to do, yet doing nothing but resolve". Hamlet's first soliloquy, following a hostile conversation with Claudius and Gertrude, shows him grief-stricken, bitter and despairing....   [tags: Revenge and Vengeance in Hamlet]
:: 12 Works Cited
3066 words
(8.8 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Indecision, Hesitation and Delay in Shakespeare's Hamlet - Needless Delay? - Hamlet's Delay The question of why Hamlet delays in taking revenge on Claudius for so long has puzzled readers and audience members alike. Immediately following Hamlet's conversation with the Ghost, he seems determined to fulfill the Ghost's wishes and swears his companions to secrecy about what has occurred. The next appearance of Hamlet in the play reveals that he has not yet revenged his father's murder. In Scene two, act two, Hamlet gives a possible reason for his hesitation. "The spirit that I have seen / May be a devil, and the devil hath power / T' assume a pleasing shape" (2.2.627-629)....   [tags: The Tragedy of Hamlet Essays] 684 words
(2 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Indecision, Hesitation and Delay in Shakespeare's Hamlet - Hamlet's Delay In Killing Claudius - Hamlet: Theories Of Hamlet's Delay In Killing Claudius There are several theories about why Hamlet, the main character of Shakespeare's masterpiece, Hamlet, delays in killing his Uncle, King Claudius. As the son of a murdered noble, Hamlet is obligated to avenge the death of his father. However, the act is never performed until the end of the play... quite some time after Hamlet discovered Claudius was his father's killer. Some historians and literary experts would say Hamlet's strong religious bonds prevented him from performing the sinful deed....   [tags: Shakespeare Hamlet Essays] 809 words
(2.3 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Define Revenge in Hamlet Essay - Revenge is one’s desire to retaliate and get even. Human instincts turn to revenge when loved ones are hurt. But, these misdeeds of taking upon revenge may lead to serious consequences. In William Shakespeare’s tragedy “Hamlet,” Fortinbras, Hamlet, and Laertes’s each show how their desire for revenge unavoidably leads to tragedy. The loss of their loved ones caused these characters in Hamlet to take action. Young Fortinbras has built an army to get back the lands his father lost to King Hamlet and Denmark....   [tags: Hamlet Essays]
:: 3 Works Cited
1222 words
(3.5 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Indecision, Hesitation and Delay in Shakespeare's Hamlet - Procrastination and Indecision - Hamlet – the Hesitation and Indecision         Is there a plausible explanation for the hesitation by Hamlet in carrying out the ghost’s request in Shakespeare’s Hamlet.   Lawrence Danson in the essay “Tragic Alphabet” discusses the hesitation in action by the hero; this is related to his hesitation in speech:   To speak or act in a world where all speech and action are equivocal seeming is, for Hamlet, both perilous and demeaning, a kind of whoring. The whole vexed question of Hamlet’s delay ought, I believe, to be considered in light of this dilemma....   [tags: Essays on Shakespeare Hamlet]
:: 7 Works Cited
1778 words
(5.1 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Indecision, Hesitation and Delay in Shakespeare's Hamlet Essay - Hesitation in Hamlet      William Shakespeare's Hamlet is tragic because all of the enmity being the product of one man's inability to make decisions. I believe the play is showing the steps of hesitation a person goes through who cannot choose, and the resultant angst. This one man is Prince Hamlet. Throughout the play he comes into situations where he just can't move himself into action. In Act I, Scene 5 Hamlet has an encounter with a ghost who explains that it is Hamlet's deceased father....   [tags: Shakespeare Hamlet]
:: 3 Works Cited
1329 words
(3.8 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Indecision, Hesitation and Delay in Shakespeare's Hamlet Essay -    Admonished by the ghost of his poisoned father, troubled by the stench of a kingdom in decline, outraged by his queen mother's incestuous liaison, why did Hamlet wait so long to act decisively?  Theories abound. Hamlet had an Oedipus complex. Hamlet was mad rather than merely pretending to be. Hamlet was an intellectual pansy. Hamlet was an existentialist. Etc. T. S. Eliot went so far as to say that the play itself was flawed, Hamlet's Problem actually the author's own, insoluble.  I believe that the Problem is actually ours....   [tags: GCSE Coursework Shakespeare Hamlet]
:: 10 Works Cited
1950 words
(5.6 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Essay On Hamlets delay - 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....   [tags: essays research papers fc]
:: 2 Works Cited
1599 words
(4.6 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
William Shakespeare's Hamlet Essay - Books upon books have been written about Shakespeare’s Hamlet. About an equal number of books, however, have been written about one character; Hamlet. A critic of Hamlet once said, “a man set out to read all the books about Hamlet would have time to read nothing else, not even Hamlet.” What is the great fascination with Hamlet and the characters contained within. The great intrigue comes from the ambiguity of the play and it’s characters. “Hamlet is the tragedy of reflection. The cause of the hero’s delay is irresolution; and the cause of this is excess of the reflexive and speculative habit of the mind.” (Halliday....   [tags: Excessive Thought in Hamlet]
:: 5 Works Cited
2828 words
(8.1 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]