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. Hamlet’s initial disbelief in the reliability of the ghost’s claim, Hamlet’s belief in religion, and the fact that Hamlet is trained in thought rather than in action, all lead to Hamlet’s inaction, and ultimately, Hamlet’s downfall.
The ongoing duel between Hamlet’s procrastination and his final action begins with Hamlet’s perception of the ghost. The ghost appears in form, as Horatio describes it, "a figure like your father, armed at point exactly" (1.2.209-210). When Hamlet first meets the ghost, he immediately calls the ghost by his father’s name and follows it to where the ghost beckons him. In response to the ghost’s claim that "the serpent that did sting thy father’s life now wears his crown," Hamlet answers, " O my prophetic soul!" (1.5.46-48), revealing that Hamlet has already contemplated this possibility. The ghost does little to persuade Hamlet of the cause of his father’s death because Hamlet is already convinced of his uncle/step-father’s guilt due to his great distrust and dislike for Claudius. Although at first, Hamlet reacts with an...
... middle of paper ...
...d by his disbelief in the ghost of his father, his belief in religion, and his education, it still brings about his untimely demise. By over analyzing any possible action he might take, Hamlet often finds a reason impeding him from taking any significant action. Although Samuel Taylor Coleridge claims that Shakespeare wanted us to realize that action is the chief end of existence, Hamlet proves that inaction is truly the chief end of existence. However, because of his indecisiveness, Hamlet is real; one can identify with him. The uncertainty of his life provides no clear path, but rather a rocky and winding road. Many times there is no right answer. He must use his discrimination to choose the best possibility. Hamlet, unfortunately, lacks this innate ability to decide. Instead of deciding, he chooses to make no decision and instead is left with no choice but death.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Procrastination of Revenge in William Shakespeare's Hamlet In the play “Hamlet” by William Shakespeare, the protagonist Hamlet, the Prince of Denmark, is deceived by many of his former allies, including his mother, Gertrude, and his lover, Ophelia. Perhaps the most deceptive of these former allies is Hamlet’s uncle, Claudius. Not only does Claudius kill Hamlet’s father, the King, but he also proceeds to marry Hamlet’s mother, Gertrude, and to steal the crown from Hamlet, the rightful heir to his father.... [tags: Papers]
466 words (1.3 pages)
- "To be or not to be", is Hamlet's most famous quotation. Hamlet is the protagonist of Shakespeare's. His father, king Hamlet, killed by his own brother, Claudius, then Claudius marries king Hamlet's wife, Gertrude, and won the kingship. Prince Hamlet who suffers from Oedipal Complex, felling in love with his own mother and considering father as a rival to his love, can't make his mind whether to kill his uncle and take his father's revenge or not. And ask this question from himself, because in one hand he knows that if he kill Claudius, his companions will kill him, in other hand his father's ghost appears to him and ask him to kill Claudius.... [tags: William Shakespeare Hamlet]
635 words (1.8 pages)
- The human condition can be a breeding ground for beauty or it can fester into nefarious and disgust. In the dramatic production of Hamlet, Shakespeare gave the theme of rot to illustrate a corrupt state of Denmark. Shakespeare created a tragedy to arouse fear and pity in the audience to relate the the fears in their life and to pity the victims of injustice. The tragic play is set in the Kingdom of Denmark and explores the revenge Prince Hamlet wants on his uncle Claudius for murdering King Hamlet his father and former King.... [tags: corruption, manipulation, procrastination]
966 words (2.8 pages)
- In Hamlet by William Shakespeare, the playwright uses the motifs of revenge and procrastination, to demonstrate that both of these motifs will always bring corruption and harm to those that make use of them. Revenge is a concept introduced into the play from the very start when the Ghost appears and speaks with Hamlet. Immediately after the Ghost of his father tells him to seek vengeance, Hamlet quickly becomes charged with anger and exclaims, “I with wings as swift as meditation or the thoughts of love may sweep to my revenge” (Shakespeare I, v, 29-31).... [tags: Shakespeare]
615 words (1.8 pages)
- Hamlet's Procrastination In William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Hamlet’s tragic flaw is his procrastination. From the first time Hamlet was acted until now, critics have fought over the reason for Hamlet’s procrastination. Some say that the cause is due to Sigmund Freud’s theory that Hamlet has an "Oedipal Complex," which is his love for his mother. Others argue that he just never finds the right time to carry out the revenge of his father’s murder. The Oedipal Complex theory in regard to Hamlet’s situation seems more likely because of the amount of times Hamlet has to kill Claudius but always fins a reason not to kill him.... [tags: GCSE Coursework Shakespeare Hamlet]
831 words (2.4 pages)
- Hamlet is a dramatic play written by William Shakespeare. It’s about how Prince Hamlet takes revenge on his uncle Claudius for murdering King Hamlet, Claudius 's own brother and Prince Hamlet 's father. Shakespeare’s main objective was to impress his Elizabethan audience because entertainment through theater was very important to everyone in that era. This essay will explain how an Elizabethan audience was targeted by Hamlet’s speech (act 4, lines 32-66). This speech effectively targeted Elizabethan audience because its format, revenge, and exciting nature caused the audience to sympathize with Hamlet’s decisions and feelings, and become involved in the play.... [tags: Hamlet, Prince Hamlet, William Shakespeare]
1565 words (4.5 pages)
- People reveal their true selves when they are alone, for when they are alone they are their only judge. Authors use this trait in writing to give only the audience important information and not the other characters. In Hamlet, by William Shakespeare, Shakespeare uses Hamlet’s soliloquies in order to convey important information. It is during Hamlet’s soliloquies that Hamlet reveals his true thoughts of other. Hamlet’s soliloquies are used as a tool in order to understand his feelings about himself.... [tags: Hamlet, William Shakespeare, Prince Hamlet]
1270 words (3.6 pages)
- Ophelia in William Shakespeare's Hamlet Shakespeare's Hamlet is a tale of mortal revenge, lost souls, love and infidelity, and murder in the royal family. Hamlet, his father having recently died, is mourning the marriage of his mother to his uncle. When his father's ghost appears to him and tells him he must avenge the former king's spirit so that it may pass on to Heaven, he decides to put on an "antic disposition" so that no one will know what he is thinking. As time goes by, he cannot move himself to act upon his revenge and is tormented by his indecisiveness and ineptitude.... [tags: Hamlet William Shakespeare]
1503 words (4.3 pages)
- Revengeful Justice in William Shakespeare's Hamlet Hamlet's motives rally between those of both revenge and justice, and it becomes this internal conflict which sets the pace of events throughout Shakespeare's entire play. Revenge serves Hamlet as his initial goal in the pursuit for vindication of his father's death. Soliloquy later reveals Hamlet's torn sensibility and care for justice, which decelerates his ability to proceed in action against Claudius. Not until Hamlet confronts his own procrastination, does the inaction cease.... [tags: William Shakespeare Hamlet Revenge Essays]
390 words (1.1 pages)
- An individual’s response to conditions of internal and external conflict is explored throughout literature. In his play, Hamlet, Shakespeare delves into the themes of appearance versus reality, lies versus deceit, rejection versus self doubt and tragedy, and in doing so attacks the frivolous state of humanity in contemporary society. In order to explore these themes, however, he uses several forms of conflict to project his opinions and expand his ideas relating to the themes of the play. Internal conflict, as well as external conflict are dominant features of his works, and in Hamlet are made evident through a succession of dire events which can attack and destroy someone.... [tags: William Shakespeare Conflict Essays Hamlet]
2442 words (7 pages)