Why Does Hamlet Delay?
For centuries William Shakespeare’s tragedy Hamlet has been under much analysis. In the play, the ghost of Hamlet’s father comes to him saying that he was murdered. Hamlet is surprised to also find out that his uncle Claudius is the murderer of his father. Hamlet’s father tells him that he must get revenge on his uncle for him; he wants Hamlet to kill Claudius. Hamlet promises his beloved father that he will do whatever it takes to make sure Claudius lives no more, but as he will find out it is not as easy as it seems.
Many philosophers have come up with different reasons to why they think that the main character, Hamlet, delays in killing Claudius. S. T. Coleridge came up with the solution that Hamlet was incapable of killing Claudius because he thought about the action too much (Coleridge). Hamlet over analyzed everything he did from the time he first saw his father’s ghost, until the time he had finally got around to doing he deed he promised his father. I don’t think Hamlet thought too much or overanalyzed the situations he was in. I think Hamlet wanted to make sure that when he did avenge Claudius it would be perfect and he would have no regrets. After all, Hamlet was not a warrior like his father and he probably was never put in a situation where he had or wanted to actually kill someone. Hamlet was a scholar, so his everyday life was based on thinking and analyzing the different subjects he took up in college. I believe that all the thinking Hamlet was doing was just a natural part of his personality and it had nothing to do with his delay.
Another philosopher, A.C Bradley had a whole different idea about the hesitation of Hamlet. Bradley said that Hamlet was incapable of killing Claudius because of his melancholy (Leithart). Hamlet was very depressed after his father died; he still was in mourning two months after his death. Claudius acknowledges his sadness by asking “How is it that the clouds still hang on you?” (I, ii,...