Hamlet, In Over his Head

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Hamlet, while not a man of many actions, is a man of many words. Though like many others, Hamlet gets caught up in the moment; saying or committing himself without fully understanding the consequences or what is going to be entailed. When he is with his father’s ghost, Hamlet promises, “Haste me to know’t, that I with wings as swift. As meditation of the thought of love/May sweep to my revenge.”(1.5.35-37) Hamlet did not keep his word to his father, his actions were not swift nor where they an act of revenge. Hamlet does not strike in an act of revenge, but in an act of anger and self preservation after the murder of his mother. He is hesitant at an opportune time, while the King was praying, for the reason that when committing himself to the act of revenge Hamlet did not fully understand what was being asked of him. That he would not only have to take the life of another man, but commit treason by slaughtering the King.
Hamlet wrote a short scene depicting how the late King Hamlet was murdered, and requests that the visiting players preform this scene in the presence of the King. When the King abruptly leaves before the closing curtain; Hamlet believes that it is a sign of guilt. Ready to slaughter the King after this revelation, Hamlet stealthy enters behind Claudius while the man is alone, with his sworn drawn. Though before he strikes Hamlet takes notice that Claudius is praying. Quickly Hamlet makes the justification that if Claudius was slaughtered while upon his knees repenting then his soul would rise to heaven, “And so he goes to heaven,” (3.3.79). Postponing his revenge until the time when Claudius was, “When he is drunk asleep, or in rage./Or in th’ pleasure of his bed,/ At game a-swearing, or about some act/That has ...

... middle of paper ... and self defense.
The tragedy of Hamlet is complex, leading the audience to more questions than resolutions. While several elements lead to Hamlet striking the King dead, the purpose for Hamlet to strike is the murder of the Queen. The blood of the Queen staining King Claudius’s already blood stained hands and the sudden feeling of self preservation were the elements that leads Hamlet to become impulsive with his actions. With rage and self preservation being the incentive for Hamlet to slaughter the King, it stands to reason that Hamlet broke his oath of revenge for his father’s death. Hamlet, in the end, lets his words get away from him when he promises himself to his father’s ghost, leading to the failure to keep his promises.

Works Cited
Shakespeare, William. Hamlet. Ed. Barbara A Mowat and Paul Werstine. 1. New York: Simon & Shuster, 2003.
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