Hamlet-Patience or Procrastination

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S. Pierce

Hamlet’s Race Against the Clock

Patience or procrastination? If you have one, then others assume you are doing the other. Is this always true though? It seems in our society people are always in a hurry and need to get things done quickly that patience has lost its virtue and those people have forgotten what it means. In Shakespeare’s drama “Hamlet” this argument has arisen more times than we could count, but when it comes to Hamlet and his actions they are mostly of patience and intellect.

We learn quickly that Hamlet is a scholar and of fairly high intelligence. This is one reason why we see that he has the patience to wait for things to become in favorable states for him. In the start of the play we learn that Hamlet contemplates suicide (1.ii) because of the despair he feels. But after some contemplation he realizes that it will not help him in anyway. He also shows his greatest reflections on how he will enact revenge against his uncle/step-father who now has become the king of Denmark. To kill a king one cannot be caught or they have basically killed themselves. His patience saves him from damning himself and acting rashly. Near the end of act 1 in scene 2, we see some quick decisions made by Hamlet to see the spirit of his father that his friends speak about. “I will watch tonight;”(1.ii) here he decides that he will go see it without second thought. He also decides that if it is his father then he will speak to it, even if the spirit could be evil: “If it assume my noble father's person, I'll speak to it, though hell itself should gape and bid me hold my peace.”(1.ii) Both of these decisions are the opposite of a procrastinator. When he actually sees his father’s ghost he is quick to follow the ghost’s command to follow it away from the others. (1.iv) It is upon this private meeting that Hamlet Senior’s ghost tells young Hamlet about his horrible murder. Loving his father very dearly Hamlet agrees to revenge his father. “Haste me to...
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