Lethal Procrastination: Hamlet

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A question that stumps great minds that are not alike is one that is still a discussion for debate even four hundred years after it arrival. Why does Hamlet delay? Not only did it make a suspenseful and dramatic play that captures the attention of an audience but it also gives away to what kind of character William Shakespeare wants to create for his young tragic hero, Prince Hamlet. This Hamlet is a man who suffers from his own words that “the native hue of resolution / Is sicklied o’er with the pale cast of thought,” (III, I, 85-86). As a smart and reflective man he continues to make excuses for his thought-sick mind that ultimately delays the resolution of the play, the death of Claudius. Hamlet agonizes over actions after actions and develops issues within him that give reason to why his mind led him astray. His obsession with rightful revenge as well as the inner conflict to maintain balance that resides within him coincides with this reflective nature. First, consider Hamlet’s claim that he will avenge his father “with wings as swift / As meditation” (I, VI, 29-30). He says ‘meditation’, something not all that swift and that signals to the reader that Hamlet is prone to ponder things from various angles before action is taken, which can take time. He does not intend to make this a quick conclusion with a quick and timely death of Claudius; he needs to take time and think through all matters before any action to be taken. The Prince of Denmark claims that “The time is out of joint; O cursed spite, / That ever I was born to set it right!-” (I, VI, 190-191) and he sticks with this claim throughout till the very last act when he dies of poison. Hamlet has to figure every single detail which includes the consequences and the ... ... middle of paper ... ...h takes away much of his energy and ability to act and therefore none is taken. Within his nature to overthink he finds excuses in himself to why he does not act yet, such as the necessity to make revenge perfect as well as his inability to find steadiness in himself. Hamlet spends much of his time and energy to dispose of the people who are seemingly harmless and little on the person who is really out to get him, Claudius. His new self-acceptance of what will come no matter what allows himself to think that his fate already predetermines and that he is the one to complete his father’s wish. Also as he is not given the chance to think things through to the extent he usually does to second guess these acceptance thoughts and thus kills Claudius. Works Cited Shakespeare, William. Marilyn Eisenstat, and Ken Roy. Hamlet. Toronto: Harcourt Canada, 2003. Print.

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