Dramatic Irony In William Shakespeare's Hamlet

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The dramatic irony created by Hamlet failing to go through with the murder of King Claudius furthers the suspense and anticipation within scene 3.3, especially when Claudius does not profess a guilty conscience. This particular scene begins when King Claudius is praying to God, hoping for some way to wash away the fratricide that has stained his mind. When Hamlet enters the room, he begins contemplating the actions of his villainous uncle. Instead of killing him in this moment of prayer, he decides that he deserves to die at a time that will cause pain, saying that “To take him in the purging of his soul,/ When he is fit and season'd for his passage?/ No” (3.3.89-92). Hamlet believes that King Claudius actually feels remorse for his crimes, and can still achieve a place in heaven. When only Claudius, himself, is present in the scene, though, he realizes that trying to receive forgiveness for the murder of his brother is impossible. His self revelation truly reveals the macabre faults in his actions. This scene sets the perfect backdrop for Hamlet’s murder of Claudius, but he leaves before can hear the King say “My words fly up, my thoughts remain below;/ Words without thoughts never to heaven go” (3.3.102-103). At this time, even Claudius knows he will not make it to heaven, so his murder would be fitting. Since this course of action doesn’t transpire, but the idea of death befalling Claudius remains, the scene ends on a note apprehensiveness and strain. Hamlet must wait and

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