William Shakespeare's Hamlet

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In the play Hamlet by William Shakespeare, Hamlet's focus on thought and reason, as opposed to immediate action, leads to a tragic ending. Although Hamlet takes action throughout the play, he tortures himself with thinking through the situations instead of acting on his inclination. First, after agreeing to seek vengeance for his father's death, Hamlet is torn by his conscience and his idealism, resulting in Polonius' death. Also, he reasons himself away from suicide, which only delays his own end. Finally, he's able to excuse his own role in Polonius' death, ending with both his and Laertes' demise. Hamlet's concentration on reasoning and rationalizing is what delays his ability to act immediately and leads to fatal endings for both him and the people around him.
While Hamlet did agreed to achieve the satisfaction his father desired, a major setback he has is wanting it not to be morally complicated. If he truly believed he was justified in avenging his father's death, he would have acted and not have concered himself with the optics of appearing heroic . During the prayer scene, Hamlet instantly draws his sword when he sees the King alone. However, Hamlet does not act immediately because he figures that killing Claudius while he is praying won't be fulfilling the revenge his father asked for. “A villain kills my father; and for that, I, his sole son, do the same villain send to heaven. O' this is hire and salary, not revenge” (Hamlet, pg. 68). Hamlet wants to kill the King, but recognizes that he would be the same villain if he did so at that moment. Instead of slaying Claudius at his first opportunity after the play, Hamlet decides to do the deed while his uncle is in the middle of committing a sinful act. “When he is dru...

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...; only I'll be revenged most throughly for my father” (Laertes, pg. 86). This leads to the duel where Laertes takes action against Hamlet by poisoning his sword. Had Hamlet not reconcidered his own guilt and confessed to Laertes, the tragic ends of both himself and Laertes may have been avoided. He thought himself above secular consequences and this line of thinking resulted in tragedy.
Had Hamlet acted directly and not gone through his thought prossess, Claudius would have been killed at Hamlet's first opportunity. He would have committed suicide and avoided the deaths of others. Also, had he not tried to hide and justify Polonius' death and instead dealt with Laertes directly, it may have changed the outcome of the play. Hamlet's thoughtfulness caused him to delay the action he had intented and changed the course of events, ending in tragedy for many.
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