Hamlet’s Indecisive Nature Essay

1155 words - 5 pages

The matrix theory is a question that illustrates the personal aspect of decision. The philosophy offers no choice, but revolves around a decision of bliss or truth (Diocaretz 9). Such an aspect is depicted in William Shakespeare’s textbook tragedy, Hamlet. The protagonist has to make a similar decision between his moral belief and obligation, however he falls into an uncertain state of mind and hesitates to act. After meeting with a ghost, who tells him to seek revenge against his uncle Claudius, Hamlet is determined to take action. Conversely he has a compulsion to moral law, which yields him to lack firmness. Critiques commonly label Hamlet as a man of contemplation rather than action. Consequently his periods of inactivity, tentative emotions, and constant hesitation characterize Hamlet as indecisive.
In between periods of vague action Hamlet’s road to revenge takes several detours. After the ghost of his father, who is an act of God and the devil, commands Hamlet to avenge him, Hamlet agrees and says, “Haste me to know't, that I, with wings as swift/ As meditation or the thoughts of love, / May sweep to my revenge (I, v, 29-31).” Hamlet promises his fathers spirit that he will swiftly avenge his death, and although he acts quickly to authenticate the spirits allegations, there is a delay of weeks before he a acts again. Moreover, Hamlet recklessly and unknowingly kills Polonius in Act 3, Scene 4; a period of inactivity follows on his part. After which the ghost returns to refresh Hamlet’s memory, “Do not forget. This visitation / Is but to whet thy almost blunted purpose (III, iv, 111-112).” Delays in action as well as the appearance of the spirit a second time support the fact that Hamlet is less then swiftly avenging his father’s death.
The irony Hamlet presents when he promises swift revenge, yet delays before acting is a common topic to critique. Hamlet is uncertain and reflects on his future actions thus, causing a delay. Critique Samuel Coleridge agrees that Hamlet has an, “overbalance in the contemplative faculty; thus vacillates delays of procrastination; and wastes the energy of resolving, the energy of acting (Coleridge Samuel).” Therefore in the instance of opportunity Hamlet wastes his built up determination on contemplation rather then action. Furthermore Hamlet has a chance to kill Claudius while he prays, however he fails to do so saying he waits for the right moment, scholar Thomas Sheridan feels, “this is an excuse to delay the murder, because he is uncertain of his actions (Sheridan Thomas).” Hamlet’s constant delaying of his actions further supports the fact that he lacks decisiveness and suggests psychological and emotional uncertainty.
Hamlet divulges his emotions as well as psychological state to the audience through his soliloquies. Hamlet reveals his ambiguity when he speaks to the audience, continually scolding and questioning his choice. In Act 2, Scene 2 he compares himself to Pyrrhus and deprecates himself a...

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