Hamlet is a classic example of a tragedy as Hamlet suffers while trying to avenge his father’s death and eventually dies at the end while attempting to do so. Hamlet feels empty without resolution to his father’s death and since there is no justice system that is going to reveal the truth about his father’s death, he must take it into his own hands. Hamlet delays killing Claudius for a long time after the ghost appears. Hamlet delays his revenge of his father’s death not because he is a coward but because his psychological feelings and need for a perfect revenge cause him to delay in order to wait for the perfect moment to kill Claudius.
When the ghost first appears to Hamlet he tells him that it was his brother who slipped poison in his ear while he was sleeping in the orchard and clearly asks him to get revenge for his untimely murder. The ghost speaks to Hamlet about his father and says; revenge his foul and most unnatural murderer. Although Hamlet has little doubt that the ghost is not his father, he must still prove to himself that Claudius is in fact the murderer before he attempts to kill him. Hamlet decides to have the players act out what the ghost has told him and see Claudius reaction. When the play the Mouse Trap is performed, Claudius is shocked by the play and storms out, which is the reaction of guilt that Hamlet had hoped for. The play is named The Mouse Trap because it is designed to catch Claudius so that he reveals his distress of the play and shows that he was the murderer.
Hamlet is now certain that Claudius is the murderer of his father and he can now carry out his revenge by murdering him. Hamlets first opportunity to kill Claudius that he actually considers is when Claudius is confessing to god. Hamlet decides not to kill him at this point because he does not want to kill him while he is praying because he will go to heaven. This is the farthest that Hamlet has come to killing Claudius so far as his sword was drawn and ready to be used until he thinks logically and realizes that Claudius will be free from sin at the time of his death. This was a luxury that his father did not even have so why should he allow Claudius to have it.
Hamlet is now becoming especially impatient with the fact that he has not killed Claudius yet and he is ready to strike at the first opportunity. Hamlet enters his mothers room in the next scene and he begins to fight with her when he suddenly hears a voice behind the arras. Without looking he thrusts his sword through it thinking it is the king. Gertrude’s reaction causes Hamlet to pause and ask, Is it the King? His doubt is quickly assured when he looks behind the arras to reveal Polonius body. This scene is very important because it shows that Hamlet is certainly not afraid to kill Claudius and he is not a coward. He thinks he has the perfect opportunity to kill the King in front of his mother so he does so without hesitation. This action displays a great deal of courage by Hamlet. Even after he discovers it is Polonius he does not show a great deal of remorse and he even calls him a fool. This event causes more problems in delaying Hamlet because he now has to deal with the fact that Laertes now wants him dead. Also, after Hamlet commits the murder he goes away for a few weeks and is unable to be in contact with the King which delays his revenge even further. Hernandez 3
Hamlet knows that he is able to carry out the death of Claudius and it is only a matter of choosing the right time. As time goes on and Hamlet still has not had the perfect situation to kill Claudius, he becomes impatient and begins to appear mad to Claudius and Gertrude. This display of madness is only an act by Hamlet because it is clearly not true. Hamlet proves this when he tells his mother that he is not crazy and he asks her to keep it a secret. Hamlet has