• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Why Did Hamlet Delay The Killing of Claudius?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Why Did Hamlet Delay The Killing of Claudius? Hamlet junior is the protagonist in Shakespeare's Hamlet. Throughout the play, Hamlet misses numerous opportunities in killing Claudius and he delays in avenging his father's death. This essay will examine Hamlet's personality and principles alongside strenuous positions which prevent him from carrying out the vital task. During the first stages of the play, Hamlet's father (Hamlet senior) appears in the form of a ghost and tells Hamlet the true way in which his death came about. The ghost explains that his death was caused by poison being poured into his ear by his brother, Claudius. Matters become worse as Hamlet's mother marries Claudius barely within a month of Hamlet senior's death. The ghost of Hamlet senior compels Hamlet to avenge his murder by killing Claudius. Initially, Hamlet has the intention to act upon his father's word and avenge his death. This is shown in the play as Hamlet says "Haste me to know't that I with wings as swift may sweep to my revenge." However soon enough Hamlet misses vital opportunities to take the life of Claudius as he is faced with his morals and conscience. ...read more.

Middle

Hamlet uses the excuse that he does not want to kill him whilst doing a good deed as he would not want to send him to heaven. At the time however, Claudius was not really praying to God but rather finding his inability to feel guilt and sorrow and ask for forgiveness. Hamlet decides that it would be best to kill him while he is doing something against religion, while he drunk or asleep with his brother's wife, who is now his wife. Although Hamlet has a valid reason, this merely seems like another delay tactic as he fails to make any sincere future plans to kill Claudius. The most reasonable explanation to the delay is Hamlet's own morals and ethics. His inability to act, and his tendency to think too much. At times Hamlet comes across as somewhat mad. The whole situation becomes like a huge burden, too for him to bear. The Ghost's miraculous revelation alongside his mother's sinful marriage all in the midst of mourning for his father's death adds to his melancholic disposition. ...read more.

Conclusion

Revenge was prohibited by ecclesiastical law, but the duty of 'personal honour' was accepted during Elizabethan times. Hamlet's inability to act was somewhere in the midst of these two contradicting laws. At this stage it is clear that Hamlet is having serious doubts about killing the King. After all, to kill an anointed King, even in an act of revenge, was considered a serious offence. Furthermore, Hamlet in left between a moral dilemma while he confronts his mother. His father appears and orders Hamlet to stop confronting his mother when the ghost says 'Leave her to heaven'. If we interpret heaven as being God then this would mean that God will deal with the sins of Hamlet's mother. But surely, if it was up to God to deal with Hamlet's mother then was it not up to God to deal with Claudius? In conclusion, Hamlet delays in killing the King because of his own personal moral dilemmas alongside his psychological ethics; he is a philosopher and is of a melancholic disposition. External events in the play do not contribute to Hamlet's delay, but are rather used to Hamlet's advantage as excuses to further delay avenging his father's murder. Ridwan Ibrahim Hamlet Coursework Miss Scally ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Hamlet section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Hamlet essays

  1. "Hamlet is better at talking about delay than he is at doing it. Consider ...

    Here he compares determination to a boldness, which can be imagined as a bright colour, being made paler by the influence of thought. This is certainly true of Hamlet in the play. It is noticed that the only time action is taken is when no thought precedes it.

  2. Hamlet Essay DRAFT

    But yet Hamlet thinks too much and somehow persuades himself to not kill Claudius. The soliloquy shows Hamlet reasoning with himself and ultimately deciding not to kill him just yet. In the soliloquy Hamlet tells himself, "A villain kills my father, and for that, I his sole son do this same villain send To heaven".

  1. What, in your opinion, were Hamlet's reasons for delaying the killing of the King ...

    For this reason, the Elizabethans also had a belief that everyone was born into the positions that they would live in through out their lives. You could not step out of your place for this would cause disorder and chaos.

  2. Why Does Hamlet Delay?

    Another way in which viewing Hamlet as 'real' in the context of Elsinore might explain Hamlet's delay occurs in Act III scene iii. Hamlet has an opportunity to kill Claudius but chooses not to because if he does act, Claudius will go to heaven as he was confessing (while Old

  1. Why does Hamlet delay in his revenge?

    with his family and although they are related they are not alike. Hamlet's relationship with women seems to deteriate throughout the play as he is irritated with his mother and his relationship with Ophelia comes to an end as well, 'frailty, thy name is woman' Hamlets sees women as a

  2. Why does Hamlet delay?

    able to act impulsively, which makes the audience question Hamlet's delay for killing Claudius. The death of Hamlet's father and Gertrude marrying his uncle has had a big effect on Hamlet psychologically. He has been put in a melancholic and depressive state which may be much of the reason for

  1. Hamlet’s dilemma.

    Calderwood further proposes that how are we to act within a tainted world without becoming tainted oneself? How, on the other hand, not to act without suffering the stigma of betrayal? As a result, Hamlet's solution for the moment is to take refuge in the cleft between the action and inaction.

  2. Criticism on Hamlet

    Peace, break thee off; look where it comes again! -" Note the judgment displayed in having the two persons present, who, as having seen the Ghost before, are naturally eager in confirming their former opinions, - whilst the sceptic is silent, and after having been twice addressed by his friends,

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work