During our class discussion of Hamlet, I have come to a number of conclusions, some of which I have never explored before in past readings of this play. Hamlet always struck me as a character who was indecisive and in lack of better words, annoying. Hamlet’s hesitant actions throughout the play have always seemed to be the reason for doubting his courage or commitment to revenge, but as I look closer it is more of Hamlets assurance that he is a truly good person and that his decisions are valid.
Hamlet compares himself, in many times during the play, to people who have enacted their revenge for justice. I believe that many people overlook the fact that even in Shakespeare’s time, killing is a serious thing. I know that getting caught up in fictional story lines makes it easy to become desensitized to cruel or unusual acts, but these actions still weigh heavily on a person’s mind. Therefore, we have to think about Hamlet’s premeditated actions as those that weighed heavily on HIS mind. In this idea there are many aspects to explore and how we come to these conclusions.
Most readers believe Hamlet should man up and get some revenge on the spot. But when actually thinking about it, Hamlet would be fully trusting a GHOST. Two things could be happening here that could leave doubt in anyone’s mind. First of all, Hamlet has to think about this from his perspective which is, is he going mad? Well that is something i would certainly think about if I am taking serious life changing orders from an apparition. Secondly, Shakespearean society is one in which religion plays a major role, and this means that the devil is also involved. This meaning that the ghost telling him to enact revenge could be a devilish or demonic spirit trying to trick him. These are all solid enough reasons for me to question the outcome of what my actions will be. Hamlet is not being scared or a fool for thinking about what he is going to do, and in all reality this makes him an even more noble character than I had previously believed.
Another aspect in which I am on Hamlets side is how to deal with his mother. Hamlet has just gone through burying his father, and mourned with his mother. He had to think about how the outcomes of his actions would affect his mother. Putting the proposed romantic angle of their relationship aside, he cares deeply about his mother. It is not like we have seen before in other plays where a son or daughter has feelings of hate towards their parent. Hamlet does care about his mother and does not want to hurt her any more than she has already been hurt. This is another great reason for Hamlet to be hesitant about killing Claudius.
So in my mind, there is enough reason to understand why Hamlet put off killing Claudius for as long as he did, and why he had to carefully think about what he was doing. Hamlet, as I have studied him more carefully, is a better character than i had once thought.