The Hamlet Question

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Lauren Lugo
English 12
Mr. Smith
12 January 2010
The Hamlet Question
For a man to get avenge on his father’s murderer takes much strength and courage, but not necessarily time. In the tragedy, Hamlet by William Shakespeare, Hamlet waits five acts to kill his father’s murderer, Claudius. Critics have come up with two types of reasons for the long delay, one reason being internal and the other external. The internal reasons being, Hamlet was too weak, he thought too much, and he was too religious. The external reasons being Claudius was heavily guarded and he was not sure if the ghost that gave him the orders to kill Claudius was actually his father. Every critic explains his view thoroughly. Herman Ulrici believes that Hamlet delays killing Claudius because he is too religious. Characteristically speaking Hamlet is a philosophical being, he is very capable in succeeding in his revenge but his religious views stop him from doing so. “Even though the King were trebly a fratricide, [someone who kills their own brother or sister] in a Christian sense it would still be a sin to put him with one’s own hand to death, without a trial and with ought justice; (Ulrici 100) Hamlet struggles with himself because taking another man’s life would lead him into damnation. While Claudius was repenting in confessions, he revealed that he in fact did kill the king (Hamlet’s father). With the proof there, Hamlet still had to fight with himself to kill him. “Now might I do it {pat,} now he is a---praying, And now I’ll do ’t. And so he goes to heaven, And so am I {revenged.} That would be scanned: A villain kills my father, and for that, I, his sole son, do this same villain send To heaven. Oh, this is {hire} and {salary,} not revenge.” (Shakespeare 3.3.77-84) If Hamlet kills him right then and there Claudius goes to Heaven. Hamlet questions himself; Claudius killed his father without giving him the chance to confess his sins and repent, and Hamlet kills Claudius sending...
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