Examples Of Indecision In Hamlet

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Indecision and Inaction: A Nation’s Downfall The ability to make quick decisions under pressure is a defining characteristic of strong leaders; decisiveness can often mean the difference between life and death. Within the play, Hamlet, Shakespeare glorifies the idea of making choices quickly, punishing the characters who tend to contemplate for lengthy periods before acting. Specifically, Shakespeare presents the character of Hamlet as possessing the fatal flaw of indecisiveness; ultimately leading to his death, along with a number of other characters. Moreover, Hamlet’s hamartia is directly contrasted with the personalities of both Fortinbras and Laertes, who act sooner rather than later. Furthermore, Shakespeare creates this stark comparison …show more content…
Specifically, Shakespeare characterizes both Laertes and Fortinbras as more decisive than Hamlet, both achieving their goal of vengeance rather than falling to indecision. Concerning their situations, Hamlet and Fortinbras illustrate certain similarities: both are royalty, both have had fathers killed, and both are on a vengeant path. However, they differ in both their outlook and approach to accomplishing their goals. Hamlet, as aforementioned, is proven to be dangerously indecisive, while Fortinbras is characterized in the opposite manner. Shakespeare characterizes Fortinbras as immensely dedicated to the cause of revenge, conveyed through Fortinbras’ attempt to conquer Denmark. For instance, Hamlet describes Fortinbras: “Witness this army of such mass and charge, /Led by a delicate and tender prince, /Whose spirit with divine ambition puff’d,/ Makes mouths at the invisible event, /Exposing what is mortal and unsure /To all that fortune, death, and danger dare, /Even for an egg-shell”(4.4.47-53). In his description of Fortinbras, Hamlet notes that Fortinbras is willing to risk his own life in order to capture an arbitrary piece of land in the name of his father, therefore avenging him. This virtue which Fortinbras displays directly juxtaposes with Hamlet’s own path, as Shakespeare contrasts inaction to action. Moreover, at the conclusion of the play, it is Fortinbras, the decisive young leader, who achieves his goal and is made king of