The Theme Of Delay In Shakespeare's Hamlet

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In the tragic play Hamlet, the main character, Hamlet, encounters a grievous affliction when he discovers from his father’s ghost, that his uncle, Claudius, murdered his father, King Hamlet. As a result, his uncle gained the throne of Denmark and married Hamlet’s mother, Gertrude, hastily after the murder. Therefore, the ghost commands Hamlet to avenge his murder by killing Claudius. Although Hamlet vowed to his father’s ghost that he would avenge him, he delays his revenge. In order for Hamlet to properly avenge his father’s death, he finds the need to prevail and overcome the many conflicts that he faced throughout the play. Hamlet’s delay reveals his loyalty, his strong morals, and his strategic thinking. To begin with, Hamlet’s …show more content…
His father’s ghost is also disturbed at Gertrude and calls their marriage incestuous. He criticizes Gertrude for being weak and foolish that she is unwilling to realize how much his father loved and cared for her. Hamlet urges her not to sleep with Claudius because he believes it is not appropriate for there to be intimacies between family members and it is a repulsive act against his father’s memory. He considers his father to be tremendously superior than Claudius, “’A was a man, take him for all in all. I shall not look upon his like again” (Ham. 1.2). Hamlet says that no one will ever take his place because he was perfect as father and king; he would never see anyone like him again. Hamlet wonders how his mother married such a man when his father and Claudius have nothing in common; she obviously did not take into consideration their differences. “She moves throughout in Claudius’ shadow; he holds her as he won her, by the witchcraft of his wit” (187), as the scholar Granville-Barker refers Gertrude as Claudius’ shadow and like his trophy because he won her over by corruption and he’s using her but she’s too foolish to see it. When he confronts his mother about the incestuous relationship she is having with his uncle, he compares the two brothers describing his father as godly like and Claudius as a mythical half-human and half-goat known for his lusts. Hamlet knows …show more content…
During the play, Hamlet had the opportunity to kill Claudius, but Hamlet saw that he was praying to God for forgiveness for murdering his brother. He pondered whether to act or not, realized that killing Claudius at that instant would surely send him to heaven. Hamlet does not want him to be saved, but to suffer in hell doubtlessly how his father is suffering and having to endure a brutal punishment since he had no chance to confess his sins and be purified. He decided to delay his duty for a better time until he encounters Claudius behaving in a sinful way, either drunk in his sleep, angry, or in his incestuous bed. Therefore, he does not allow Claudius to be rewarded for killing his father, but punished in the most proper and harsh way possible by ensuring his soul goes to hell. Despite Hamlet being presented with the opportunity to avenge his father when Claudius was in a vulnerable state, he thought about his father and did not act in order to bring about justice for his father. Hamlet is determined to show his loyalty to his father by correctly killing Claudius and not doing his villainous enemy a favor by sending him to

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