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Why Does Hamlet Not ‘Sweep To His Revenge’?

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Introduction

WHY DOES HAMLET NOT 'SWEEP TO HIS REVENGE'? In Hamlet, Shakespeare skillfully and cleverly uses characters', setting, environment, situation, and circumstances to enhance the readers' reactions and make the plot in the play convincing. The gradual emergence of Hamlet's characteristics, religious believes and personality traits through his dialogue and soliloquies give us greater insight into this character's complex and complicated nature and this is essential to understanding why Hamlet did not sweep to his revenge. I will look at how and why the use of these different devices give Hamlet credible, reliable and acceptable reasons for his lack of action and therefore serve to make the play enjoyable and plausible. Hamlets' religious believes play a major contributory factor in him not sweeping to his revenge because they restrict any actions that go against his Christianity. In his first soliloquy we find him confused and upset by the death of his father and his mothers hasty marriage, 'within a month' to his Uncle Claudius and he wonders whether it would be better to end his life rather than to remain on this 'weary, stale, flat and unprofitable...world'. ...read more.

Middle

Killing another human is easy in comparison to contemplating the after effects, but has Hamlet already sold his soul to the devil by promising to avenge his fathers death and going against Gods' commandments and his own ideals and principles. Therefore Hamlet is not being true to himself. Hamlets' idealistic views and opinions are more important that life itself. He condones disloyalty, corruption, dishonesty and lying and tries disparately hard to be a true and honest person. He continually reputes the behaviour of the court who are Hamlet procrastinates great moral integrity deep principles disenchanted with life does not have the desire to exact revenge greatly affected by his ever changing state of mind'thinking too precisely on th' event' iv iv 41 THIS THING'S TO DO; SITH I HAVE CAUSE AND WILL AND STRENGTH AND MEANS TO DO 'T' IV IV 43-46 The opportunity for Hamlet to kill Claudius without raising suspicion or alarm only presents itself once during the entire play. ...read more.

Conclusion

Although Hamlet agrees to 'sweep' to his 'revenge' by the end of the act he is already sceptical and announces that 'The time is out of joint: O cursed spite, That ever I was born to set it right. -...' and by the time we reach his second soliloquy Hamlets' doubts emerge even stronger 'The spirit that I have seen May be a devil - and the devil hath power T'assume a pleasing shape....I'll have grounds More relative than this.' Hamlets' reservations are justifiable because although others had seen the ghost Hamlet was the only person he had spoken to. The messages he gave Hamlet were confusing and contradictory, he describes murder as 'most foul' and yet asks his son to perform the same act and he condones the queens' behaviour and yet tells Hamlet not to think ill of her. This moral dilemma plagues Hamlets' thinking so he decides to use the play to 'catch the conscience of the king' and help him gain the proof that he feels is necessary before revenging his fathers' death. ...read more.

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