Hamlet's Hesitation

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In the play Hamlet, Claudius kills Hamlet’s father in order to marry Gertrude and become the king. Hamlet is deeply angered by all of this and vows to get revenge for his father’s death. He does not rush into killing Claudius though. There are several reasons why he may have not tried to kill him right away.

One reason that Hamlet was hesitant to kill Claudius is because he is part of his family. He was first Hamlet’s uncle before his father was killed. After King Hamlet was dead, Claudius married Gertrude and became Hamlet’s dad. This situation would be very difficult for Hamlet, because he is very angry about his father’s death and how his mother married Claudius so soon after. Even though he is angry, however, he can see that Gertrude loves Claudius. He doesn’t want to see her go through the loss of another loved one. All of his friends were also loyal to Claudius since he was the king. If Hamlet were to kill Claudius he would have all of his friends and family against him. He does not want to lose the relationships he has with all the people he knows and loves. He is too concerned that this may happen to carry out his revenge right away. This is one reason why it is not an instant attempt at murdering Claudius.

Hamlet also has a chance to kill Claudius when he sees him praying, but he does not kill him then. Hamlet believes that by doing that he would maybe send Claudius to heaven and himself to hell. This shows that Hamlet must be religious and he does not want to suffer the consequences of killing someone. Since Claudius killed his father, Hamlet also does not want to send him to heaven because he feels that doing so would not be getting revenge.

When King Hamlet’s ghost appears before Hamlet, he tells him that Claudius was the one who murdered him. The ghost then continues to tell Hamlet to go and kill Claudius. Hamlet does not want to listen to the ghost’s orders right away though. He is most likely unsure if he should believe...
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