Hamlet's Delay in Hamlet by Shakespeare

Hamlet's Delay in Hamlet by Shakespeare

Length: 295 words (0.8 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
In Act I scene V, Hamlet is told by his father’s ghost to “revenge his foul and most unnatural murder.” The ghost then goes on to tell Hamlet that as he was “sleeping in my orchard, A serpent stung me” and that “The serpent that did sting thy father’s life Now wears his crown.” Hamlet is told by the ghost to seek revenge, telling him that Claudius has corrupted Denmark and corrupted Gertrude, having seduced her in the foul lust of their incestuous marriage. The ghost urges Hamlet not to act against his mother in any way, telling him to “Leave her to heaven, And to those thorns that in her bosom lodge, To prick and sting her.”
Hamlet delayed in seeking revenge for his father because he wanted to be absolutely sure that Claudius did indeed kill his father. Hamlet was also seeking authenticity of the information the ghost gave him, and had to find out for himself if it was true. Thus Hamlet set up “The Mousetrap.” Hamlet was behaving similarly to the way teenagers act today. His father told him something that was true, but Hamlet couldn’t just act without proving the truth to himself, and then acting on his own terms, not those of his father.
Hamlet's delay came from a conflict between action and awareness that made him see both sides of every issue. Hamlet realized that to avenge his father’s death, he must kill Claudius, but at the same time he knew that there would be consequences for this action. For example, in Act III, scene III, Hamlet had the opportunity to kill Claudius, but he believed that Claudius was praying. If Hamlet had killed Claudius when he was praying for forgiveness, Hamlet believed Claudius would have gone to heaven. Thinking this, Hamlet decided to wait until the king was doing something bad, so that Claudius would go to hell.
In my opinion, Hamlet’s procrastination led to his downfall and death, as well as the deaths of many others.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Hamlet's Delay in Hamlet by Shakespeare." 123HelpMe.com. 23 Oct 2018

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Indecision, Hesitation and Delay in Shakespeare's Hamlet Essay

- A tragic hero is defined as a great or virtuous character in a dramatic tragedy who is destined for downfall, suffering, or defeat. The hero in these tragedies is often presented as a noble however, flawed character whose demise is often impart to their own decisions, often due to their previously mentioned flaws, error in judgment and imprudent actions. Written in the early 1600’s Shakespeare wrote one arguably one of his greatest and highly controversial plays, the tragedy known as Hamlet, Prince of Denmark....   [tags: classic, shakespeare]

Research Papers
1838 words (5.3 pages)

Indecision, Hesitation and Delay in Shakespeare's Hamlet Essay

- Hesitation in Hamlet      William Shakespeare's Hamlet is tragic because all of the enmity being the product of one man's inability to make decisions. I believe the play is showing the steps of hesitation a person goes through who cannot choose, and the resultant angst. This one man is Prince Hamlet. Throughout the play he comes into situations where he just can't move himself into action. In Act I, Scene 5 Hamlet has an encounter with a ghost who explains that it is Hamlet's deceased father....   [tags: Shakespeare Hamlet]

Research Papers
1329 words (3.8 pages)

Indecision, Hesitation and Delay in Shakespeare's Hamlet Essay

-    Admonished by the ghost of his poisoned father, troubled by the stench of a kingdom in decline, outraged by his queen mother's incestuous liaison, why did Hamlet wait so long to act decisively?  Theories abound. Hamlet had an Oedipus complex. Hamlet was mad rather than merely pretending to be. Hamlet was an intellectual pansy. Hamlet was an existentialist. Etc. T. S. Eliot went so far as to say that the play itself was flawed, Hamlet's Problem actually the author's own, insoluble.  I believe that the Problem is actually ours....   [tags: GCSE Coursework Shakespeare Hamlet]

Research Papers
1950 words (5.6 pages)

Indecision, Hesitation and Delay in Shakespeare's Hamlet - Hamlet's Delay In Killing Claudius

- Hamlet: Theories Of Hamlet's Delay In Killing Claudius There are several theories about why Hamlet, the main character of Shakespeare's masterpiece, Hamlet, delays in killing his Uncle, King Claudius. As the son of a murdered noble, Hamlet is obligated to avenge the death of his father. However, the act is never performed until the end of the play... quite some time after Hamlet discovered Claudius was his father's killer. Some historians and literary experts would say Hamlet's strong religious bonds prevented him from performing the sinful deed....   [tags: Shakespeare Hamlet Essays]

Free Essays
809 words (2.3 pages)

Indecision, Hesitation and Delay in Shakespeare's Hamlet - Procrastination and Indecision

- Hamlet – the Hesitation and Indecision         Is there a plausible explanation for the hesitation by Hamlet in carrying out the ghost’s request in Shakespeare’s Hamlet.   Lawrence Danson in the essay “Tragic Alphabet” discusses the hesitation in action by the hero; this is related to his hesitation in speech:   To speak or act in a world where all speech and action are equivocal seeming is, for Hamlet, both perilous and demeaning, a kind of whoring. The whole vexed question of Hamlet’s delay ought, I believe, to be considered in light of this dilemma....   [tags: Essays on Shakespeare Hamlet]

Research Papers
1778 words (5.1 pages)

Indecision, Hesitation and Delay in Shakespeare's Hamlet - Procrastination

- 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]

Free Essays
831 words (2.4 pages)

Indecision, Hesitation and Delay in Shakespeare's Hamlet - Needless Delay?

- Hamlet's Delay The question of why Hamlet delays in taking revenge on Claudius for so long has puzzled readers and audience members alike. Immediately following Hamlet's conversation with the Ghost, he seems determined to fulfill the Ghost's wishes and swears his companions to secrecy about what has occurred. The next appearance of Hamlet in the play reveals that he has not yet revenged his father's murder. In Scene two, act two, Hamlet gives a possible reason for his hesitation. "The spirit that I have seen / May be a devil, and the devil hath power / T' assume a pleasing shape" (2.2.627-629)....   [tags: The Tragedy of Hamlet Essays]

Free Essays
684 words (2 pages)

Indecision, Hesitation and Delay in Shakespeare's Hamlet Essay

-       The very intelligent prince in William Shakespeare’s Hamlet is a dallying type, especially at the crucial prayer scene where the king appears very vulnerable. But some esteemed literary critics do not consider the hero to be a procrastinator at all. Let us in this essay examine various points of view on the prince'’ various episodes indicting dallying or the opposite. Harry Levin comments on Hamlet’s uncharacteristic hesitation in dispatching the king, in the General Introduction to The Riverside Shakespeare: Comparably, Hamlet has been taken to task – or, perhaps more often, sentimentalized – for an alleged inability to make up his mind....   [tags: GCSE English Literature Coursework]

Research Papers
2385 words (6.8 pages)

Indecision, Hesitation and Delay in Shakespeare's Hamlet Essay

- The Indecisiveness and Hesitation of Hamlet         In the Shakespearean drama Hamlet considerable literary critical comment swirls about the subject of the hero’s hesitation or indecision in the prayer scene. Is it weakness. Is it representative of a mental condition. Are there other incidences of hesitation. Let us explore the subject in this essay and interpret the key scene in light of other scenes, with input from literary critics.   David Bevington, in the Introduction to Twentieth Century Interpretations of Hamlet, eliminates some possible reasons for Hamlet’s hesitation in killing Claudius during the prayer scene:   Several limits can be placed upon the search for an explan...   [tags: GCSE English Literature Coursework]

Research Papers
2387 words (6.8 pages)

Indecision, Hesitation and Delay in Shakespeare's Hamlet - Excessive Hesitation and Delay?

- Hamlet – the Hesitation and Indecision       William Shakespeare’s Hamlet presents a hero who hesitates to avenge his dead father when given the opportunity – what should be his judgment. This paper examines the decision from various points of view.   Mark Rose, in “Reforming the Role,” comments on how the hero’s hesitation to kill at the propitious moment, coupled with his later hasty decision to kill, have left the protagonist a changed man:   [. . .] the prince who returns from sea is a changed man, resigned, detached, perhaps “tragically illuminated.” Having refused to kill the king when the time was every way propitious – that is, when he found Claudius kneeling in empty not ge...   [tags: GCSE English Literature Coursework]

Research Papers
2788 words (8 pages)

Related Searches

If Hamlet had believed his father’s ghost when he told him that Claudius had murdered him and acted on his revenge immediately, Hamlet would have been able to catch Claudius off guard. If Hamlet had done so, he would have had the ability to prevent all of the other needless deaths. In conclusion, the word of his father’s ghost should have been enough for Hamlet to act and carry out the revenge for his father.
Return to 123HelpMe.com