Yet under all the ranks and nobility, he is nothing more than a coward that can not accept the idea of his fate. When Hamlet is given the role of vigilante he "swears" that he is man enough for the job. However when Hamlet does not kill Claudius outright, he begins to lose his vigor. The prince suspiciously admits that he is "mad" and uses it as an excuse to keep prolonging the inevitable fate that he must face. By toppling over this hurdle, Hamlet tries to find reasons why he does not have the tenacity for revenge.
Shakespeare, William. The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark. Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 1995. http://www.chemicool.com/Shakespeare/hamlet/full.html No line nos.
Although Hamlet recognizes the fact that too much reflection could end poorly, he does it nonetheless. Every situation he is faced with he insists upon planning it out first, and rarely actually acting upon these plans. Additionally, since Hamlet is considered to be a tragedy, there must be a tragic hero. All tragic heroes have some kind of flaw or blemish, which, according to the article "Characters", "Hamlet's weakness may be that he 'thinks too much' and cannot make up his mind. The resulting inactions leads to his death" ("Characters").
This nihilistic approach, however, not only disregards many of the play’s moments of philosophical insight, but it also completely misinterprets Shakespeare’s intent. That is not to say that Lear is without fault at the end of the play; as Shakespeare surely understood, Lear is still human, and as such, he is subject to human frailty. What is most important about Lear, however, is not that he dies a flawed man but that he dies an improved man. Therefore, although King Lear might first appear “bleak,” Shakespeare suggests that Lear’s life, and human life in general, is worth all of its misery because it is often through suffering that people gain knowledge about the true nature of their individual selves and about the nature of all humanity (Roche 164). From the very beginning of the play, Shakespeare suggests that King Lear has much to learn.
"The Taming of the Shrew." The Riverside Shakespeare 2nd ed. Ed. Dean Johnson et al. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1997.
Morality is the next big challenge that Hamlet faces. Hamlet needs to morally justify the murder of the king to himself before he can go through with it, "Hamlet was restrained by conscience or a moral scruple; he could not satisfy himself that it was right to avenge his father"(Bradley 80). This idea connects directly with the idea that Hamlet thinks too much. Although Hamlet does not act on instinct; he does understand what it is telling him to do, "Even when he doubts, or thinks he doubts, the honesty of the Ghost, he expresses no doubt as to what his duty will be if the Ghost turns out to be honest" (Bradley 80).
Claudius responds to situations with a decisive manor, has few morals if any and he is always power-hungry and will do anything to get that power. Hamlet has a more of an impulsive nature, that he struggles to control through out the play, however Claudius has a more methodical nature. He is very indecisive and sometimes this leads to a hasty decision in which he gives his enemies the advantage. When he encounters the Ghost for the first time, he wants to appear brave in front of Marcellus and Horatio, so he decides to say, "My fate cries out And makes each petty artere in this body As hardy as the Nemean lion's nerve. Still am I called.