Hamlet en5 Essay

This essay has a total of 1274 words and 6 pages.

Hamlet en5



In Shakespear's Hamlet, the reader gets to know what has been called the "two Hamlets in
the play," the first who is considered to be the sensitive intellectual who is able to
express himself through poetry and who comes across as being dedicated to truth. The
other, barbaric side of Hamlet who treats Ophelia so cruelly with no empathy, slays
Polonius and speaks of dragging his guts into another room, and who sends Rosencrantz and
Guildenstern to their deaths without any remorse. However, most interpreters of Hamlet
see him as a "tragic hero" with a clear and sacred obligation to kill Claudius but due to
his being a victim of great external difficulties, is unable to do so right away.
Shakespeare purposely makes Hamlet out to be a procrastinator for one very important
reason, if Hamlet would have quickly pursued this revenge, Gertrude, Polonius, Ophelia,
Rosencrantz, Guildenstern, Laertes, and of course Hamlet himself would have survived and
Shakespeare would not have achieved tragedy in this play. There are many explanations for
Hamlet's long delay, some of which include the physical act of being unable to commit the
murder and what held him back, the fear of what would happen, the moral dilemma of taking
the life of his uncle, his disbelief in the ghost, and his fascination with death.

The most important reason being that which physically held him back from committing the
act. If Hamlet were to carry out what the Ghost told him and carried out immediate
revenge, how would Hamlet have been able to convince the people that he justifiably
executed an act of revenge. Another reason Hamlet procrastinates is that his
psychological feelings confuse his ability to "confront his destiny." Hamlet's dilemma
has little to do with what decisions he should take, but rather whether he will be able to
make any decisions at all. Perhaps due to his excessive melancholy Hamlet became morally
weakened and therefor lost his desire for revenge. As Hamlet states "my weakness and my
melancholy"(II.ii.630) and his "wild and whirling words"(I.v.133) his mood shifts from
deep depression to elation, which might explain his indecisiveness throughout the play.
Hamlet is a man of talk. He is imply unable to carry out actions which he wants to. In
his own words, ". . .the native hue of resolution

Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought."(III.i.84-85)
Here it becomes clear that when Hamlet thinks he has finally made a decision, thinking
about it causes him to change his mind or simply put it off. The one time Hamlet has the
opportunity to kill Claudius and achieve his revenge is when Claudius is confessing his
sins. Here, Hamlet does not kill him because if Claudius were to die right then, he would
have gone to heaven. Something which Hamlet does not want to see happen.

Of course, there are also moral roadblocks which prevent Hamlet from immediately acting
upon the Ghost's orders. According to Goethe's interpretation of Hamlet, he is "lovely,
pure, and moral nature, without the strength of nerve which forms a hero." However,
Goethe's compatriot, Schleger sees Hamlet having "no firm belief either in himself or in
anything else, in the resolutions which he so often embraces and always leaves unexecuted,
his weakness is too apparent. His far fetched scruples are often mere pretexts to cover
his want of determination. . .." Hamlet becomes the "creature of mere mediation" because
of his overbalanced cognition. Hamlet always finds a way out of what he was about to do
because he ends up thinking about it for too long. This leads him being known as a
character whom is full of purpose, but lacks the quality required to accomplish that
purpose. Most of these issues are simply due to Hamlet's over analyzation of morals.
When Hamlet sees how promptly Pyrrhus acted towards the death of his father in scene II,
he promptly denounces himself as a coward and cries out for vengeance:

Bloody, bawdy villain!
Remorseless, treacherous, lecherous, kindless villain!
O, vengeance!(II.ii.608-610)
it is at this point where Hamlet reveals his plan to "catch the conscience of the King."
Again, however, even though he vows to sweep to his revenge, weeks pass and he has not
even made an attempt.

Perhaps it is because of Hamlet's disbelief in the honesty of the Ghost which causes such
hesitation in Hamlet's actions. Hamlet is called upon to execute private vengeance, an
eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, even though this is contrary to all Christian
teachings. Hamlet therefor, gets erratic because he is a man that believes in heaven and
hell and whose ideals tell him that any man who defies divine ordinance ultimately must
face judgement. Also, according to Shakespeare, a Ghost is "a spirit damn'd" which would
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