Hamlet does not feel it is fair for Claudius to go to heaven, while his father is at unrest, so he decides instead to kill Claudius while he is doing something sinful. This is ironic because Claudius says he is not really praying; he is just going through the ... ... middle of paper ... ...ia goes mad because of her father’s murder, and consequently ends up drowning to her death. Laertes also comes back to Denmark from France to seek revenge for his father’s murder. It is arguable that had Hamlet not murdered Polonius, none of these events would have occurred, including the deaths of virtually all the characters as well as Hamlet. The three main turning points of Hamlet all revolve around Hamlet seeking revenge for his father’s murder.
In the next scene, Claudius is praying for forgiveness of his sins. “Oh, my offence is rank. It smells to heaven. It hath the primal eldest curse upon 't, A brother’s murder … My fault is past. But oh, what form of prayer Can serve my turn, ‘Forgive me my foul murder?’” Hamlet sees his uncle praying and is ready to kill him then and there but after thinking for a moment, he realizes that if he kills Claudius as he’s praying, he’ll be considered a martyr and go straight to heaven.
His second flaw completely opposite from the first, was acting on impulse out of passion making him kill the wrong man, Polonius. Hamlet’s acting out of passion and anger not only killed the wrong man but it was also Ophelia’s father, causing her to commit suicide. Hamlet was a hero trying to do the right thing, but his tragic flaws turn everything around when everyone including himself dies . One of Hamlet’s flaws is that he over thinks things a lot and it is first shown the most at the prayer scene with Claudius. Once Hamlet sees how Claudius reacts to the play he knows that Claudius killed his father and that the ghost was right, he has a chance to kill him and doesn’t take it .
Shakespeare uses the revenge plot to create conflict between Laertes and Hamlet by having Laertes avenge his father's and sister's death which Hamlet is responsible for. After learning of his fathers unnatural death, Hamlet decides that he can no longer trust anyone, except for Horatio. While acting out his madness, he visited Ophelia and cut off his ties with her because of his distrust for everyone. In Act III, when Hamlet talks with his mother, he notices that he is being spied upon. Thinking that it is the king, Hamlet mistakingly kills Polonius who was hiding behind a big rug, which for some medeval reason, was hung on the wall.
During the prayer scene, Hamlet instantly draws his sword when he sees the King alone. However, Hamlet does not act immediately because he figures that killing Claudius while he is praying won't be fulfilling the revenge his father asked for. “A villain kills my father; and for that, I, his sole son, do the same villain send to heaven. O' this is hire and salary, not revenge” (Hamlet, pg. 68).
Hamlet became reckless in his attempts to exact revenge against Claudius to send his father off to heaven. The tragic flaw that causes Hamlet’s downfall is his indecisive nature, as Hamlet spends adequate amounts of time planning to avenge his father’s death, and hence loses time to inflict revenge. By allowing these distractions and interruptions to come into play, it causes the already difficult task to become even less possible. Consequently, as Hamlet further delays killing the King with his indecisiveness, he puts additional people’s lives into jeopardy, and leads him towards his own tragic downfall. Hamlet’s indecisive nature is displayed in the soliloquy “To be, or not to be – that is the question”; this quote further shows Hamlet’s inability to take conclusive action.
Again both deaths were due to choices made by Hamlet, Polonius' murder and driving Ophelia insane. Finally we arrive at the sword match between Hamlet and Laertes. Hamlet is unaware of Claudius’ poisoned goblet and the poisoned tip of Laertes’ sword. When Laertes cuts Hamlet, he makes the choice to stab Laertes, who would see him dead as well. When the queen dies after drinking the poison and Laertes confesses the whole deed, implicating Claudius, Hamlet finally kills the man who killed his father.
Laertes’ boldness and compulsiveness serve as an enhancement to Hamlet’s inaction and indecisiveness. On impulse, Laertes leaped into his sister’s grave, but Hamlet only jumped in after Laertes had done so first. Both Laertes and Hamlet seek revenge for the death of their father, but their paths to vengeance are markedly different. Upon hearing that his father Polonius had been murdered, Laertes wastes no time in seeking revenge. Laertes is ready to kill Claudius because he mistakenly assumes he killed Polonius.
As Christina Autiero asserts in a paper given at a conference held in Westchester - Putnam School, “Blinded by [his] passions,...Hamlet indirectly causes the death of Ophelia and his mother...revenge and Hamlet’s method of madness primarily cause his death and actions. Unfortunately, the only approach [he] felt would vindicate [his] honorable name essentially destroyed [him]” (Autiero 53). Young Hamlet believed that the only choice to redeem his father was to murdering the murderer. In doing so, however, Hamlet became mad, and struck out at any and all who crossed his path. At one point in the play, Hamlet stabs Polonius, believing him to be King Claudius.
A villain kills my father, and, for that, I, his sole son, do this same villain send to heaven. Oh, this is hire and salary, not revenge…. With all his crimes broad blown, as flush as May. And how his audit stands who knows save heaven?” (III, III, LXXIV- LXXXIV). Hamlet thinks about killing his uncle in a church, as he a clear chance of killing him but decides not.