Revenge and Delay in Hamlet

Topics: Hamlet, Characters in Hamlet, Gertrude Pages: 3 (860 words) Published: June 18, 2013
Revenge And Delay Found Within Hamlet

The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark by William Shakespeare is one of his most influential tragedies telling the story of treachery, revenge and moral corruption. The play is about Prince Hamlet who seeks to exact revenge on his uncle Claudius for murdering his King Hamlet, Claudius’s brother. Hamlet’s father then succeeds the throne and takes as his wife Gertrude, the old King’s Widow and Prince Hamlet’s father. “As doth well appear unit our state, But to recover of us by strong...”(1.1. 101-102) These word by Horatio, Prince Hamlet’s close friend reveals to the reader one of the crucial themes in this play, the need for revenge, not just by Hamlet but by Fortinbras, the Prince of Norway and Claudius through Laertes. Their emotions, thoughts and action are fueled by their craving for vengeance and as the three revenge plots intertwine, it is revealed that the nature of revenge is not simple but complicated as the reader see's Hamlet's inner struggle to take action, and his inability to make decisions. The indecision, hesitation and delay are what make the plot stand out from other revenge stories.

The main plot in the play is that of Hamlet who is visited by the Ghost of his father telling him to avenge his death. Hamlet’s response was “Hast me to know’t, that I, with wings as swift, As meditation or the thoughts of love, May sweep to my revenge” (1.5. 29-31)Sets the plot for revenge but later he is seen having his doubts as expressed in the line “Fie upon’t, foh! About, my brains!” (2. 2. 574). After Hamlet establishes Claudius’ guilt, by staging the murder of Gonzago he gets the opportunity to kill the unattended Claudius in his chamber but allows this opportunity pass after soliloquizing the matter and saying that killing Claudius will not be revenge as he will go to heaven. Throughout the play he is reflective and pensive and delays the moment as long as he possibly can. He is later exiled when he accidentally...

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Shakespeare, William, and Harold Jenkins. Hamlet. London: Methuen, 1982. Print.
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"Why Hamlet Delays His Revenge." Why Hamlet Delays His Revenge. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 June 2013.
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