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Saim Rauf

Sir Sameer Ahmad


ENG 3202
17 February 2016

Hamlet is a thinker rather than a doer. He at first analyzes everything from all the dimensions and
then decides to introduce the element of practicality, but till then it turns out to be too late. He
can be seen procrastinating throughout the play and struggling to convince himself to perform
regicide. He finds his heart full of hatred, antipathy and resentment when the truth regarding his
father`s death is unveiled to him. Although Hamlet is a very noble and sophisticated man, he
struggles with the issue of avenging his father's death. He keeps on swearing that his revenge
will be quick however it is not the case. Hamlet is a thinker and that is why he finds himself
inclined to consider pros and cons of all the things, which results in the production of those
elements that struggle to keep him away from the maelstrom of homicide. In this way, there were
a number of factors which were contributing in the postponement of his action. One of them
seems to his suffrage from Oedipal Complex: felling in love with his own mother and
considering father as a rival to his love, can`t make his mind whether to kill his uncle and take
his father`s revenge or not. Another main reason offered for the delay is psychoanalytical one,
first suggested by Freud, the originator of psychoanalysis. According to this theory Hamlet is
rendered of acting against Claudius because of a repressed Oedipus complex, he restrains his
actions because he has a subconscious desire to replace his father and lie with his mother.

He finds a number of things as an obstacle between himself and the revenge. The more he thinks
about his intention, the less he is able to execute it. The tragic flaw that Hamlet possesses is his
inability to act. He vows that he is going to kill Claudius but backs out of it several times before
the deed is actually done. Hamlet's first sign of procrastination and lack of action begins to show
through his character at the very beginning of the play. The ghost informs him about Claudius'
evil doings. Hamlet is prompt by replying:
"Haste me to know't; that I, with wings as swift As meditation or the thoughts of love, May
sweep to my revenge. (Shakespeare, p. 67) This passage shows how Hamlet decides to avenge
his father's death. In fact, he declares that he will be committed to nothing else but the revenge
against Claudius: "I'll wipe away all trivial fond records, All saws of books, all forms, all
pressures past, That youth and observation copied there; And thy commandment all alone shall
live Within the book and volume of my brain, Unmix'd with baser matter: yes, by heaven!
(Shakespeare, p. 69).
Hamlet knows that he is not going to pass the test with flying colours. He finds himself in a
dilemma. He wants to slay Claudius but also knows that in the result of it, he will cease to exist,
as his companions would kill him. The second thing that stops the protagonist is that he is not
sure about the ghost either. Believing in a ghost`s words and committing regicide would have
been an insane step, so he decides to confirm it before performing any action. But, Hamlet can
also be considered as a religious man from the religious point of view. We can disgust that he put
off taking revenge because taking revenge in Christianity is forbidden. He put off killing his
uncle three times as Jesus was put off three times for crucifixion.

Melancholic state of mind brought on by the death of his father and the hasty remarriage of his
mother can be considered as the main reason due to which the protagonist procrastinates.
To cap it all, we know that since Hamlet is over thirty and still attending university, it would
appear that he prefers the academic world over the world of the court. He is a thinker. It would
appear that he likes to examine something from every possible angle before he commits himself
to an action. He is told about the murder from a ghost that looks and sounds like his father but
was that he? The other factors like melancholic temperament, deep repulsion for his mother's act
of remarrying and hopelessness of any efforts to improve the corrupt court of Denmark also turn
out to be a bulwark and stop him from delivering the coup de grace.