Thought Vs. Action Hamlet Essay

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Free Hamlet Essays: Hamlet's Inability to Take Action

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Hamlet's Inability to Take Action


"To be, or not to be, that is the question."(Hamlet) This is the question that plagues Hamlet through the entire play. Should I live or should I die, should I take revenge for my father's death? These are all issues that Hamlet battles within himself. Hamlet's indecision is followed by inaction. The reason for this struggle with indecision can be based on many factors or on a combination of a few.

As illustrated through his speeches and soliloquies Hamlet has the mind of a true thinker. Reinacting the death of his father in front of Claudius was in itself a wonderful idea. Although he may have conceived shcemes such as this, his mind was holding him back at the same time. His need to analyze and prove everythin certain drew his time of action farther and farther away. Hamlet continuously doubted himself and whether or not the action that he wanted to take was justifiable. The visit that Hamlet recieves from his dead father makes the reader think that it is Hamlet's time to go and seek revenge. This is notthe case. Hamlet does seem eager to try and take the life of Claudius in the name of his father, but before he can do so he has a notion, what if that was not my father, but an evil apparition sending me on the wrong path? This shows that even with substantial evidence of Claudius' deeds, Hamlet's mind is not content.

With his thinking mind Hamlet does not become a typical vengeful character. Unlike most erratic behavior of individuals seeking revenge out of rage, Hamlet considers the consequences of his actions. What would the people think of their prince if he were to murder the king? What kind of effect would it have on his beloved mother? Hamlet considers questions of this type which in effect hasten his descision. After all, once his mother is dead and her feelings out of the picture , Hamlet is quick and aggressive in forcing poison into Claudius' mouth. Once Hamlet is certain that Claudius is the killer it is only after he himself is and and his empire falling that he can finally act.

On top of Hamlet's over analyzation of the situation an his constant reviewing of all the reasons why he should not act, there is another force which he cannot control.

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iIt is possible that Hamlet was an example of the "Oedipus complex", in this case Hamlet's primitive urge to remove his father for the affection of his mother was actually carried out, but not by him. Hamlet seeing Claudius succeed in everything that he subconcioiusly wishes for may lead him to put Claudius on a pedestal. Although Hamlet may not realize it or want it, he admires Claudius and is therefore unable to kill him.

Hamlet is a very complex character and clearly has a lot of different things going on in his mind. It was the conbination of these two things that made it so hard for Hamlet to overcome what his mind was telling him to do, or not to do. The fact that these two examples take place in his conciouss as well as subconciouss mind is what makes it so clear as to why Hamlet could not make his decision. He had factors from each side of his mind, this is why it had such control over him and held him back. Finally when he had no more reasons in his conciouss mind not to kill Claudius he could finally overcome his indecision.



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