Essay Procrastination of Revenge in William Shakespeare's Hamlet

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Procrastination of Revenge in William Shakespeare's Hamlet In the play “Hamlet” by William Shakespeare, the protagonist Hamlet, the Prince of Denmark, is deceived by many of his former allies, including his mother, Gertrude, and his lover, Ophelia. Perhaps the most deceptive of these former allies is Hamlet’s uncle, Claudius. Not only does Claudius kill Hamlet’s father, the King, but he also proceeds to marry Hamlet’s mother, Gertrude, and to steal the crown from Hamlet, the rightful heir to his father. In Act III, scene III of “Hamlet,” Hamlet accidentally comes upon Claudius while he is alone and in prayer. Hamlet draws his sword and contemplates murdering Claudius. However, Hamlet neglects to perform this action. The…show more content…
“Now might I do it pat, now ‘a is a-praying, And now I’ll do’t.” (III, iii, 73-74) However, Hamlet’s intellect provides him with a ready excuse to delay his revenge against Claudius. Hamlet does not believe that killing a man in prayer constitutes an unfair deed. Rather, Hamlet reasons that, since Claudius has purged his soul through prayer, he would go to heaven. “And so ‘a goes to heaven; And so am I revenged.” (III, iii, 75) Hamlet’s father, contrastingly, had not prepared his soul for death. He suffered purgatory as a ghost. Hamlet, unsatisfied with performing an act of corporeal justice, would prefer for his revenge to have eternal consequences. He wants to seek his revenge when Claudius’ sole lies in a state of unpreparedness. Hamlet puts away his sword while contemplating this future occasion. “Up, sword; and know thou a more horrid hent: when he is drunk asleep, or in his rage, Or in th’ incestuous pleasure of his bed; At game, a-swearing, or about some act That has no relish of salvation in’t;” (III, iii, 88-92) This procrastination shows Hamlet’s capabilities for intellectual reason, even in a situation involving extreme emotions. However, this decision presents Hamlet’s final opportunity to seek substantial revenge against Claudius. In this scene, Hamlet shows reasoning worthy of admiration. Although Claudius’ prayer may evoke sympathy from an
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