Turning Points in Hamlet Essay

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There are three possible turning points in Hamlet: the players' scene when Claudius' guilt concerning the murder of King Hamlet is confirmed; the prayer scene when Hamlet forgoes the opportunity to kill Claudius; and the closet scene where Hamlet first takes action, but kills Polonius inadvertently. In the players' scene, the ghost's story is proved to be true, allowing Hamlet to avenge his father's murder. In the prayer scene, Hamlet misses a perfect opportunity to kill Claudius, giving Claudius time to act against Hamlet. In the closet scene, Hamlet's actions give Claudius the impression that he poses as a major threat to his continued succession on the throne. The death of Polonius also triggers a series of repercussions by altering the…show more content…
This is ironic because Claudius says he is not really praying; he is just going through the actions of prayer. He doesn't want to give up all that he has gained, such as the throne and his wife, Gertrude. Therefore, Hamlet really did miss a perfect opportunity to kill Claudius, because Claudius would not have gone to heaven after all. This scene shows Hamlet's indecisiveness, because after the players' scene, he vows to take action in murdering Claudius. However, when the opportunity rises, Hamlet doesn't take it. One might think that Hamlet is just making up excuses to avoid murdering Claudius. In forgoing this opportunity to kill Claudius, Hamlet allows Claudius time to act against him. Claudius attempts to rid himself of Hamlet and the possibility of his crime becoming discovered. In the closet scene, Hamlet kills Polonius, thinking it is Claudius behind the curtain. When Hamlet goes to his mother to talk, Polonius is hiding behind the curtain and eavesdropping on their conversation. Polonius wants to prove that Hamlet's behavior is based on Ophelia's rejection of Hamlet's love. Hamlet hears him behind the curtain and stabs him, thinking he is Claudius. This is an important turning point in the play, because this is the first time that Hamlet has taken action towards avenging his father's death. Even though he has
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