Hamlet: Decisive End, Indecisive Approach

Topics: Hamlet, Ghost, Characters in Hamlet Pages: 2 (743 words) Published: March 15, 2011
Decisive End, Indecisive Approach
In William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, the titular character struggles to engage in his desired plan of revenge. Hamlet shows throughout the play that he is inconsistent, indecisive, and unsure of himself, as well as his actions. The play focuses on Hamlet’s revenge; however, he continuously fails to happen at opportunistic moments. Throughout the play, Hamlet insists that he intends to avenge his father’s death through the murder of Claudius, but Hamlet fails to act on occasion because of his indecisive personality.

Shakespeare’s character, Hamlet, is known for his indecisive personality. It is a trait that humanizes Hamlet in the sense that every man is flawed. However, this feature is Hamlet’s main personality flaw and because of it, the play is dragged on. From the moment of encountering the ghost, Hamlet is determined to enact revenge upon Claudius. Soon after his encounter with the ghost, Hamlet begins to doubt the ghost’s existence, motives, and identity. Hamlet fails to act against Claudius because he fears that Claudius is innocent and that it will be unjust to murder him if “the spirit that I have seen/May be the devil, and the devil hath power/To assume a pleasing shape” (p.19). This doubt is the first example of Hamlet’s incapability to act, and shows that Hamlet’s actions are inconsistent with his motive. Shakespeare further expands upon Hamlet’s over-thoughtful and hesitant mind when Hamlet plots with Horatio to expose Claudius as the murderer by staging a play in which the actors perform a murder scene similar to the version of late King Hamlet’s death. Hamlet sees Claudius have a guilty reaction to the scene through his abrupt exit, but even then Hamlet’s actions are inconsistent with his motive. He cannot express his emotions to Claudius’ reaction and waits for another chance to avenge his father’s, the late King’s, death. Hamlet is so confident in the ghost’s tale that he is willing to wager “one thousand pounds...
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