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Hamlet's Hesitation Essay

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April 26, 1998

HAMLET'S HESITATION

In Shakespeare's Hamlet, a ghost tells Hamlet that his uncle, Claudius, is responsible for the death of his father. Hamlet is driven to reveal the truth of his father's death and seeks to avenge his murder to achieve justice. In his quest to right the wrongdoing, Hamlet delays acting toward justice for many reasons. The main factor for Hamlet's hesitation is attributed to his self-discipline. He lacks of ability to act on his emotions. Hamlet is an intelligent, moral, and reserved character. He restrains himself to act rationally and not on emotion. This hesitation is a tragic flaw for Hamlet, but in order to resolve the truth, it is necessary.
Hamlet has doubts about the validity of the
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He plans to accomplish this by devising a play that parallels the conspiracy against his father's death. The play he develops portrays a reenactment of Claudius poisoning Hamlet's father, and will expose the guilty and alleviate all thoughts that the ghost was the devil. Hamlet explains his reasoning by saying:
"… guilty creatures, sitting at a play, Have by the very cunning of the scene Been struck so to the soul that presently They have proclaimed their malefactions; For murder, though it have no tongue, will speak With most miraculous organ. I'll have these players Play something like the murder of my father Before mine uncle: I'll observe his looks; I'll tent him to the quick: if he but blench, I know my course. The spirit that I have seen May be the devil; and the devil hath power To assume a pleasing shape; yea, and perhaps Out of my weakness and my melancholy, As he is very potent with such spirits, Abuses me to damn me. I'll have grounds More relative than this. The play's the thing Wherein I'll catch the conscience of the king." (Act II. Scene 2, 543-559)
Hamlet views Claudius' reaction to the play. Claudius' response is indicative of a guilty person, verifying Hamlet's suspicion. Hamlet can now act out his vengeance on Claudius, since he has proven Claudius' guilt and has grounds for carrying out justice. Hamlet is
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