What would you do if your father, who was king, was killed by his brother so he could become the new king? In the play Hamlet written by William Shakespeare this tragedy occurs. Hamlet, the main character, is confronted by his father in the beginning of the play who is now a Ghost. Hamlet’s father, Ghost, orders Hamlet to seek revenge on Claudius because Claudius murdered him and remarried his wife. All through the play Hamlet delays in seeking his revenge because he wanted to be certain the ghost was his father, missed his opportunity, and had many interruptions.
Initially, Hamlet was apprehensive that Claudius indeed murdered his father; therefore, he delayed his revenge. He believed it could have been a devil and did not want to go to hell if that was correct.
‘The spirit that I have seen may be a devil, and the devil hath power t’ assume a pleasing shape; yea, and perhaps, out of my weakness and my melancholy, as he is potent with such spirits, abuses me to damn me’ (Shakespeare, Hamlet, II, ii, 628-632).
With this doubt in his mind, Hamlet is completely unable to react. In addition, Hamlet wanted to receive proof so he planned the “mousetrap”. This is where Hamlet had players
Jones 2 act out something very similar to Claudius’s incident. Claudius left after witnessing the murder in the play which was enough evidence for Hamlet to prove the murder.
Next, Hamlet delayed his revenge because he missed his vital opportunity to take the life of Claudius. Immediately after Hamlet received conformation Claudius killed his father he has a perfect opportunity to kill Claudius. He sees the King kneeling in prayer and wonders if this is the time to kill him and get