The Struggle with Procrastination in Hamlet by William Shakespeare In William Shakespeare’s tragic play Hamlet, the main character, Hamlet, struggles with procrastination throughout the play. As Samuel Taylor Coleridge said, "No brilliant intellect can be considered valuable if one withdraws from action." It is this tragic flaw of inaction that eventually brings about Hamlet’s downfall. In the beginning of the play, Hamlet is given explicit instructions by the ghost to kill his uncle/step-father Claudius to avenge his father’s murder; yet, he fails to do so. Hamlet’s inaction and hesitation to kill Claudius is justified in his own mind and to the audience.
/ Till then sit still, my soul. Foul deeds will rise, / Though all the earth o'erwhelm them, to men's eyes" (I.iii.255-259). Hamlet already believes that Gertrude has committed a "foul deed" in marrying Claudius and the ghost's appearance supports Hamlet's anger. At the time, Hamlet does not know of his father's murder, but he suspects there may be more behind the ghost's appearance... ... middle of paper ... ... revenge and kill Claudius. Before, the ghost was the only proof Hamlet had of his father's murder and he needed its assurance in order to act out his revenge.
Hesitant Hamlet Throughout the play, Hamlet is shown not acting quickly in crucial situations, which brings us to his tragic flaw, hesitancy. Hamlet, stopping to think situations through, lets opportunities slip right through his hands that will immensely affect so many people in the future. If Hamlet would just act on instinct, than hesitancy would never be an issue. Unfortunately for Hamlet, in this play he does not have all the time in the world to get revenge towards Claudius. Early on in the play Hamlet sees the ghost of his father’s spirit and it beckons him to follow if he wishes to speak to it.
Hamlet wants to doubt the existence of the ghost when he tells Horatio and the others, "Never make known what you have seen tonight. "(Act 1, Sc. 5, ln. 160)(65) The mere fact that Hamlet hesitates to reveal that he has seen the ghost at all and swears Horatio and the other sentinels to secrecy, shows his want to keep the proof of his father's death secret. When hamlet says, "If his occulted guilt/ do not itself unkennel in one speech,/ it is a damned ghost that we have seen,/ and my imaginations are as foul/ as Vulcan's stithy."
If, throughout, Hamlet is prevented from enacting his revenge by the discomforting ratios that his literary imitations generate, he is equally prevented from repudiating his revenge by his inability to emancipate himself from his father, to be other than an imitation of what has generated him(Kastan 204). Toward the end of the play, Hamlet has abandoned the strong sense of morality that he once possessed. He no longer debated the morality of his every action. His true ... ... middle of paper ... ...aertes killed him physically. Bibliography: Bloom, Harold.
In the beginning of “Hamlet”, the ghost of Hamlet's father appears on the scene, and asks Hamlet to avenge his death. By that he is put in a position where he had to accomplish that task, but in secrecy, so he decides to fake his madness. His behavior and moods throughout the play frequently change. So, Shakespeare basically leaves the audience to decide whether Hamlet is truly mad or not. Throughout Shakespeare's Hamlet, Hamlet's questionable madness is explored through his real madness, actions, and the reactions of others towards his behavior.
Evans, Gareth, and Barbara Lloyd Evans. The Shakespeare Companion. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1978. "Everything Shakespeare: History." Online http://www.field-ofothemes.com/shakespeare/shakehis.html.
Hamlet’s delay in seeking revenge directly correlates to the age in which the play was written along with the notion that Hamlet is brilliant but impatient, these are the reasons for Hamlet’s procrastination. His impatience leads to his death in the end. In Elizabethan times, a ghost was generally believed to be a devil that had assumed the form of a dead person. These ghosts wanted to put into danger the souls of those nearest themselves through lies and other questionable behavior. In Hamlet, when the ghost first appears on the palace guard’s watch, no one affirms that it is the spirit of Hamlet's father, only that it looks like him.
The ghost is a very important character in Hamlet though it appears in few scenes. Its importance rises from the fact that it is through the ghost that we get to know how the father of Hamlet died before the play started. When Hamlet sees the ghost of his father, the latter tells him about "a murder most foul." He tells hamlet that he was poisoned by his own brother Claudius. But, the ghost is not important just because it is a prologue ghost but rather because it is also a revenge ghost.