Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Hamlet's Delay

I completely understand the argument of Hamlet's delay. He seems to hesitate multiple times and make up many different excuses for why he hasn't killed Claudius yet throughout the play. However, I also feel as though the argument isn't entirely valid for multiple reasons. First of all, I would absolutely hesitate before killing someone. I'm pretty sure that most sane people would. But even more importantly, he legitimately attempts to kill Claudius but it ends up being Polonius. That fact was actually what made me ponder this whole argument in the first place. These critics are arguing that he keeps trying to hold off on killing Claudius but he full on stabbed a human thinking that it was Claudius. To me, it seems like he truly has intentions to kill Claudius, and actually attempts it, but also just has the nervous hesitation about killing a human... I just don't know if the whole argument is entirely necessary.

7 comments:

Belin Manalle said...

Further on the subject of Hamlet's delay, I was taken aback during class today by the idea that Hamlet delayed on killing Claudius because he was jealous of Claudius and was attracted to his mother in that way. I personally do not see that in "Hamlet" at all. I will admit that in the movie we watched in class today, they got a little up close and personal. However, this was just a result of the director. I stick to my argument that Hamlet is perfectly normal and just being human in his "delay". In fact, I believe that this argument doesn't even necessarily need to be in existence. It makes me honestly wonder what these scholars and critics were thinking. I may be thinking too simply but I personally believe that these people just try to come up with strange, new ideas about "Hamlet" to keep the studies going.

Jack Zheng said...

I think that the scholars interpreted the play this way, not that I necessarily agree with it:

By the time Hamlet is 99% certain that Claudius killed his father, he chooses to further investigate but deep inside he knows that Claudius did it. For that one single bit of uncertainty, Hamlet is held back from avenging his father, which would have been a noble and obligatory deed.

master123 said...

Personally I would delay killing someone. Hamlet does delay, I agree with the critics, but do I blame him? No! Yes, Claudius is scum and the movie clip that we saw in class made my skin crawl when he was embracing Gertrude (they hugged), but for Hamlet to murder him because he murdered his father just makes him as poor of a character as Claudius. I am not saying that Claudius should go unpunished for his sin, but instead Hamlet should just out Claudius's trechery and let the law handle it, but I guess that doesn't make an interesting play.

madison kahn said...

I agree with the fact that it's only natural for Hamlet to delay. I think because he delays it allows the readers/viewers to see Hamlet as a more morally correct character than Cladius. He knows he wants to avenge his father's murder, but he's hesitant about taking the life of another without definitive proof. I think Hamlet definitely loses his cool a little bit when he just stabs the curtain and accidently kills Polonius. If i had to guess, i'd say this murder is going further Hamlet's delay. He's already made the mistake of killing an innocent man, so I think he's going to be very careful moving forward with his plot against Cladius.

Madison Cummings said...

Although it was common at the time to avenge your loved one's deaths, especially your father's, I do feel like Hamlet knows that killing Claudius is wrong and not really his responsibility. Personally, I think things like that should just be left for karma to handle. I think that the saying, "two wrongs don't make a right" (which I am all sure we have all heard before) really applies here. There is really no point in Hamlet killing Claudius. It won't bring his father back from the dead, and it would only create more issues for the people. I think that killing Claudius seems a little selfish as the only one who would benefit from such a thing would be Hamlet himself.

Antonio Imbornone said...

I wouldn't go out to say that I completely understand Hamlet's delay. In fact I'm unsure of the main source of it. It could simply be that he is too sensitive and frail of a man to commit a murder, but I think it's more than Hamlet simply being soft. Now, he also could be worried about the sin and punishment that would come from committing a murder, but revenge was such a common concept at the time that I really don't think that's it. Someone earlier in these comments said that it could be Hamlet being extra careful as not to kill an innocent man, but I disagree. Shakespeare has provided plenty of moments where the audience can see that Claudius is guilty AND that Hamlet knows it. Like I said I'm unsure on this one.

Jack Zheng said...

While it is fun to judge Hamlet according to our own standards, I don't think that our moral compass can apply to him. If we tried to look at the play from the point of view of an English audience in 1600, then maybe we could decide whether Hamlet's acts were moral, because morality is by no means timeless.