Hesitation in Hamlet

Topics: Hamlet, Morality, Murder Pages: 2 (637 words) Published: May 9, 2012
Hesitation in Hamlet

Inner conflicts such as uncertainty and distress are very strenuous on society; they ignite turbulent feuds in human relationships and create struggles that accumulate to epic tales, to epic plays. In Shakespeare’s Hamlet, many of the characters encounter similar quarrels, particularly Hamlet. His father’s death is the severe incident and cause of his constant deliberation. Hamlet is confronted with opportunities to avenge his father’s murder, but his depraved, conscious, and rational considerations make him reluctant and hesitant to act.

Hamlet’s indecisiveness is not only due to his awareness that Claudius’ murder would be immoral, but that killing him in a moment of repentance would grant Claudius the rewards of heaven. Due to his studies at Wittenberg, Hamlet has gained theological understanding that only contributes to the complexity of the situation. Hence, Hamlet’s allegation of betrayal “is not an adolescent excess but an accurate theological description of a marriage between a widow and her dead husband’s brother” (Magill, 53). He is physically and emotionally sensitive to this relationship and struggles to handle the obvious immorality of the connection between Gertrude and Claudius. Hamlet is disinclined to sever family ties and proceed unjustly, yet he is fearful that he has failed to give justice on a deserved vengeance. Hamlet’s deferred actions are not signs of weakness; they are consequences of his immense understanding of the moral dilemma with which he faces in his family. Nevertheless, Hamlet’s divine achievements do much more than intensify his cautious feelings. For the typical revenger, the revealing message “from the ghost of the murdered father would be more than enough to start the bloodletting” (Magill, 53). But Hamlet is mindful of the untrustworthiness of ghostly visions, and as a result he is unwilling to execute a plan of action that is obviously evil and unjust. In addition, the apprehension...
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