play Hamlet by William Shakespeare depicts th...
Reasons for Hamlets Delay to Revenge
play Hamlet by William Shakespeare depicts the theme of revenge in a very wide
and clear manner. Different characters throughout the play show actions and
movements aimed at revenge on each other. Hamlet in this play is expected to
revenge against his uncle Claudius who killed Hamlet’s father to take the
throne and remarry Hamlet’s mother. Apparently, Hamlet delays for a long time
the action to kill Claudius. The playwright technically uses this delay to
create more drama and sustain the play. This is because were it not for
hamlet’s hesitation to seek revenge, the play would not be there. The cause of
this delay could have been caused by several factors. This paper discusses some
of the reasons why Hamlet delayed the killing of Claudius.
critics of the play have tried to find an explanation for this delay. Most of
them connect Hamlet’s hesitation to psychological reasons such as fear,
uncertainty, and depression among others. However, the critics have not been
able to come up with a reason that is universally accepted. According to Shaw (2002),
depression could be one of the
reasons for the delay. Though according to this critic, it is hard to accord a
clinical diagnosis since the character Hamlet is just an imagined character.
However, there are signs of depression in his actions. Hamlet appears to be
suffering from a depressive illness whose signs include reduced energy,
anhedonia, low mood, negative beliefs; this is evident when Hamlet refers to
himself as melancholic.
has not fully accepted the fact that he has lost his father. This is another
factor that really disturbs hamlet and causes his delay to act. This is one of
the reasons he feigns to madness, showing his grief and mourning the death of
his father. This leads to him suffering the inability to love, losing interest
in worldly matters, lowering his feelings on self-regard, painful objections as
well as expectations of punishment (Cameron, 2014).
to Eileen Cameron (2014), Hamlet
is seen going through the inner struggles within himself. Though it is clear
that Hamlet has feelings of hostility and hatred against his uncle Claudius and
the ghost of his father further compels him to kill Claudius, there is evidence
of unconscious conflicts as well as the loyalty to his own father. In Hamlet’s
case, there is a conflict between evil and good based on a moral standpoint.
Though it was morally offensive for Claudius to kill King Hamlet in order to
take his throne and his wife, for Hamlet, it was not morally upright to kill
him for revenge. The logic thinking and for Hamlet are also simultaneously
disrupted by the appearance of the ghost. This also distorts his thoughts about
is another cause of Hamlet's hesitation to kill his uncle. Although the ghost
of his father has revealed to him that Claudius was responsible for the death
of King Hamlet, Hamlet is privately cynical about the reliability of the ghost.
Hamlet is also shown as a very skeptical and meditative character who always
thinks before acting. This notably explains why he must wait until he is sure
that Claudius actually killed his father before he can act on him. He,
therefore, must wait until he has evidence and assurance on the killing of his
father. It is also argued that Hamlet delayed the revenge because he wanted to
make Claudius’ death very painful and ruthless, causing him to always postpone
it. ("Essay Examples: Why Hamlet Delays in Avenging his Father's
reason why Hamlet could have delayed revenging for his father is the
unfortunate fact that he possessed some intellectual, psychological or
emotional flaw. This causes failure to act without delay. To regain the status
quo, Hamlet had a legitimate duty to revenge the killing of his father.
Considering the fact that Claudius was sovereign, the only option that Hamlet
was left with was to take the law into his hands and kill Claudius. However, his reluctance was also restrained
by the desire for Gertrude, his mother. By killing Claudius, who is now the new
lover for his mother, he would exterminate the image of his secretive Oedipal
self. This would also be a very wild justice (Ryan, 2016).
conclusion, though Hamlet finally succeeds to kill Claudius, he does so in a
manner that suggests that he had not planned to do it at the moment. This shows
that Hamlet had failed to accomplish his role of being a loyal avenging son
which seems forgotten for him. However, his failure can be seen to be caused by
so many forces acting against him.