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Hamlet Procrastination Analysis

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Shakespeare’s most famed play Hamlet is perhaps his most well-known work. The five-act play follows Prince Hamlet as he attempts to kill his uncle, King Claudius who murdered hamlet’s father in cold blood and married Hamlet’s mother. Hamlet’s fatal flaw, however, is procrastination, the theme of which causes his eventual downfall. The question then is, “Why does Hamlet procrastinate so badly when the fate of his father’s soul rests in his hands?” The answer is simple: Hamlet is so strong in his moral code is subconscious cannot and will not allow him to kill King Claudius. He mind causes him to delay his task as much as he possibly can because his morality will not allow him to take a life. From the first act of the play, Hamlet…show more content…
While he places his father on a pedestal, he shows no respect to his mother. This gap in his sense of honour is another reason why he has such problems with procrastination. Where he would kill for his father, for his mother he does nothing but cause trouble and heartache; eventually being part of the cause of her death. The best example of this gap is when Hamlet harshly screams, “You are the queen, your husband’s brother’s wife/ and, would it were not so, you are my mother” (3.4.14-15). Although this moral gap allows Hamlet to further delay the killing of King Claudius, it does cause a turning point: by killing Polonius, Hamlet breaks his moral rules. This break in character is what allows him to eventually kill the…show more content…
Hamlet draws his sword and whispers, “Now I might do it… and now I’ll do’t” (3.3.74-75) but he does not act. Hamlet, much like the Elizabethan audiences of the day, is very religious. From Hamlet’s point of view King Claudius has taken a knee to pray and to ask forgiveness. Although this is untrue, Hamlet has taken it upon himself to ensure that King Claudius goes to hell. Hamlets moral fortitude and his sense of honour do not allow him to finish the task when he knows Claudius will go to heaven. Hamlet whispers to himself, “Why this is hire and salary, not revenge” (3.3.79), proving his belief that if he kills King Claudius, the task will not be valid as he will go to heaven. Delaying the step-patricide and ensuring King Claudius’s position in hell is another senseless detour in Hamlet’s given quest, and furthering the depth of procrastination that has plagued Hamlet from the first scene of the play. Hamlet is aware of his procrastination as evidenced by his numerous soliloquies on the subject. The protagonist’s religious morality is so strong that even having seen the ghost of Old King Hamlet twice, and with plans to finalize the guilt of King Claudius, part of Hamlet’s mind will not accept reality of the situation. This idea that his father’s ghost is simply a working of the devil
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