This essay has a total of 816 words and 4 pages.


Something was definitely rotten in the state of Denmark: the king was dead of a murder
most foul, a betrayal from his own brother, and young Hamlet was thrown out of the frying
pan, which was his father's passing, and into the fire of revenge. One would think that an
act of revenge such as this, retribution from an enraged son over the unjust murder of his
father, would come about quickly, wildly, and brutally, driven by anger and by rage. This
was simply not the case in Shakespeare's Hamlet, as the young prince unexpectedly drew out
his plans for revenge over a rather large amount of time due to his own apparent weakness,
inaction. "The smallest deed is greater than the grandest intention." (Raja: Pp 111)
Hamlet was full of grand ideas and intentions, but he failed to act and to carry out the
deed that was his revenge, the destruction of Claudius. Why did Hamlet choose, and it was
a choice, not to take revenge on Claudius quickly and decisively? Hamlet had his own
reasons for inaction; the strategy that he felt best suited his revenge.

Hamlet was undoubtedly an incredible intellectual, and throughout the play it seemed as
though the thoughts of his mind came too quickly for the actions of his body to keep up
with. This intellectual quality provided a roadblock for Hamlet's taking a quick revenge
on Claudius. Nearly all of Hamlet's actions, with the exception of his outburst at
Ophelia's grave, were preplanned and precisely calculated. His inborn thought process
prolonged his revenge, and while Hamlet may have appeared listless with inaction, the
wheels in his mind never stopped turning. Hamlet questioned everything, including the
validity of his own father's ghost, and this questioning slowed down Hamlet's ability to
take action. The young prince may have thought too much for his own good at times; he
wrestled with many ideas, thoughts, and feelings over the course of the play, delaying any
real action until the time, in his eyes, was right.

Hamlet was very much a perfectionist in revenge. He wanted everything to be perfect, and
this caused him to take unusual and unique steps to gain his revenge on Claudius. Hamlet's
play within a play, a brilliant scheme in which he caught the conscience of the king, was
a prime example of the young prince's need for perfection in revenge. Inaction resulted
from this perfectionistic nature. Hamlet missed golden opportunities, and even passed up a
chance to kill Claudius and to take his revenge simply because Claudius was praying at the
time. Hamlet did not only want to kill his father's murderer; he wanted to send him to an
eternal punishment of damnation. This quality of perfectionism, along with his
intellectual aspect, caused Hamlet to move slowly and carefully in his revenge, often
resulting in periods of inaction.

Hamlet also seemed to truly enjoy his revenge, so much that he may have procrastinated in
taking action on purpose, simply to toy with Claudius as long as possible. Hamlet clearly
enjoyed tormenting his father's killer; the prime example of this again being the play
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