Why Did Hamlet Delay Killing the King? Essay examples

908 Words Nov 1st, 2010 4 Pages
Hamlet is one of Shakespeare’s many tragedies. Common themes in these works by Shakespeare are murder and deceit. Hamlet is full of each. The protagonist of the play, Prince Hamlet, is a young man whose father was murdered two months before the beginning of the story. Early on in the play Hamlet is approached by the ghost of his father. He explains to Hamlet that his brother, Claudius, murdered him. Before he returns to purgatory, he asks that Hamlet take revenge on Claudius, who, since the murder has taken the Crown of Denmark and taken Hamlet’s mother as a wife. Hamlet then makes a vow that he will avenge his father, but as the play progresses Hamlet passes up multiple opportunities to kill Claudius. This begs the question, Why does …show more content…
If Hamlet did not delay, then he could have murdered an innocent man and his attempt at revenge would have been an awful failure. By formulating his plan with the players Hamlet ensures the validity of his revenge and avoids failing in the mission his father gave him.
Hamlet’s delay ends up paying off. When the players are acting out the murder Claudius storms out of the theater looking incredibly distressed. After discussing the events with Horatio Hamlet concludes that Claudius truly murdered his father. He decides to seek out Claudius to finally avenge his father. When Hamlet finds him praying alone he pulls out his sword, ready to kill, but again he delays. Hamlet says to himself, “To take him in the purging of his soul/When he is fit and seasoned for his passage?/No/Up, sword, and know thou a more horrid hent” (III.III.86-90). If Hamlet chose to kill Claudius at that moment, while he was confessing his sins, then he would essentially do Claudius a service by giving him free passage to heaven. If he delayed however then he would be able to catch Claudius “When he is drunk asleep, or in his rage/Or in th’ incestuous pleasure of his bed/At a game swearing, or about some act/That has no relish of salvation in ‘t” (III.III.90-93). Hamlets Father had no chance to repent for his sins. Hamlet knows this and chooses to delay killing Claudius to wait for a more optimal moment where he can deal more damage to his opponent. Before Hamlet can rethink a new

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