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The Elizabethan play of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark is one of William Shakespeare's most popular works.

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Introduction

The Elizabethan play of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark is one of William Shakespeare's most popular works. In it we see Hamlet, the young heir to the Danish throne struggle with his conscious over the recent death of his father and the events following. He is devastated and also enraged at the promptness of his mothers re-marriage to the new King Claudius, his uncle. When the truth of the situation is revealed Hamlet is livid with his 'incestuous' mother and 'villain' of an uncle and vows to take his revenge. However he is not swift in taking his retribution on his uncle, but instead hesitates and re-evaluates the situation many times. Doubts are seen to creep into his head. He begins not only to doubt the validity of the ghost's revelations, but also has qualms about his own ability and aptitude to carry out his task. There are many reasons that contribute to Hamlet's procrastination of this significant task. One of the largest issues we see is the concept of humanity. The prince is obviously a man of great integrity and a great scholar who is being asked to perform a task that goes against his moral grain. ...read more.

Middle

He is able to realise that he may have been tricked by the ghost, as the news that it brought him was the news he wanted to hear. He needed a channel for his grief and the ghost was the easy way of doing this. Despite all of this, Hamlet decides that instead of taking revenge right away, he will find out if the Ghost is really telling the truth. This is the first time he has expressed any doubt about the Ghost, so it looks like he feels that he ought to take revenge, but doesn't have his heart in it. This deliberation however can be seen in two ways. One, that he is still procrastinating with these thoughts, the other view is that this is an example of his inner character as a planner, a thoughtfull person. He is going to make certain of Claudius's guilt before extracting his revenge. This perhaps can be seen as another example of his inadequacy for this task. Although the task of the play is to encourage Claudius to display his guilt it also would be interesting to observe Hamlet's reaction to it. ...read more.

Conclusion

Shakespeare uses the encounters that Hamlet must face to demonstrate the effect that one's perspective can have on the way the mind works and the way that Hamlet reacts to these stimuli. This effects his reaction when dealing with the revenge of his father. Hamlet's apparent delay in seeking revenge for his father's death plays an important role in allowing us the audience to look at Shakespeare's view on the human mind, we witness Hamlet traverse the internal struggle raging within himself over the moral implications of his task, and his own ability to exist with them. We see the love Hamlet has for his mother, the way he is insistent on proving Claudius guilty beyond any doubt, the 'innocent until proven guilty' theory and the restraint Hamlet shows over killing the King are qualities making Hamlet a good character, but however it is the same qualities that provide the tragedy for this play. His inability to react on correct impulses such as the ghost's revelation and his compassion for Ophelia are what makes him inapt for his task and it is my belief that Hamlet realises this and this is why he procrastinates in the way he does for so long. What is the Reason for Hamlet's Procrastination? Joel Andrews ...read more.

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