Indecision, Hesitation and Delay in Shakespeare's Hamlet - Procrastination and Indecision

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Hamlet – the Hesitation and Indecision Is there a plausible explanation for the hesitation by Hamlet in carrying out the ghost’s request in Shakespeare’s Hamlet? Lawrence Danson in the essay “Tragic Alphabet” discusses the hesitation in action by the hero; this is related to his hesitation in speech: To speak or act in a world where all speech and action are equivocal seeming is, for Hamlet, both perilous and demeaning, a kind of whoring. The whole vexed question of Hamlet’s delay ought, I believe, to be considered in light of this dilemma. To a man alienated from his society’s most basic symbolic modes, who finds all speech and action mere seeming and hypocritical playing, comes an imperious demand…show more content…
Here in the play’s peripeteia is enacted Hamlet’s fatal error, his fatal misjudgment, which constitutes the crisis of the action, and is the directly precipitating cause of his own death, seven other deaths, and Ophelia’s madness (52). The play begins on a guard platform of a castle in Denmark: For two nights in succession, just as the bell strikes the hour of one, a ghost has appeared on the battlements, a figure dressed in complete armor and with a face like that of the dead king of Denmark, Hamlet’s father. A young man named Horatio, who is a school friend of Hamlet, has been told of the apparition and cannot believe it, and one of the officers has brought him there in the night so that he can see it for himself. The hour comes, and the ghost walks. The awed Horatio tries to speak to it but it stalks away, leaving the three men to wonder why the buried king has come back to haunt the land. [. . .] Whatever the message is that has wakened the ghost, it refuses to share it with them. (Chute 35) Horatio and Marcellus exit the ramparts of Elsinore intending to enlist the aid of Hamlet, who is home from school,

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