Hamlet: Tragedy Of Failure


Hamlet's tragedy is a tragedy of failure-the failure of a man
placed in critical circumstances to deal successfully with those
circumstances. In some ways, Hamlet reminds us of Brutus in Shakespeare's
"Julius Caesar." Hamlet and Brutus are both good men who live in trying
times; both are intellectual, even philosophical; both men want to do the
right thing; both men intellectualize over what the right thing is; neither
man yields to passion. But here the comparison ends, for though both Brutus
and Hamlet reflect at length over the need to act, Brutus is able
immediately to act while Hamlet is not. Hamlet is stuck "thinking too
precisely on th' event-".
Hamlet's father, the king of ...

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Why Hamlet puts on this "antic disposition" and delays
in killing Claudius is the central question of the play.
But Hamlet did not swear to his dead father that he, detective-like,
would investigate. Hamlet swore revenge. And he has more than enough
motivation to exact revenge.

Does it not, think thee, stand me now upon-
He that hath killed my king, and whored my mother;
Popped in between th' election and my hopes,
Thrown out his angle for my proper life,
And with such cozenage-is't not perfect conscience
To quit him with this arm? And is't not to be damned
To let this canker of our nature come
In further evil?
(Act 5, scene 2 . . . to Horatio)

Yet he delays. It is this delay in performing the act he has sworn to
accomplish which leads to Hamlet's death. The poison on the tip of Laertes'
sword is but a metaphor for the poison of procrastination which has been
coursing through Hamlet's system ...

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world did not
Hamlet obey the ghost at once, and so save seven of those eight lives?" The
answer to this question lies not in the fact that had Hamlet done so the
play would have ended in the first act. The answer lies in the character of
Hamlet. Specifically, what is it that prevents Hamlet from acting on his
father's ghost's command? Let's look at some typical views.
Is it the fact that at that moment Claudius is surrounded by
courtiers and his Swiss guard? No, for throughout the play Hamlet never
refers to any external difficulty in approaching and killing Claudius.
Hamlet states in Act IV, scene 4 that he has "...cause and will and
strength and means To do't," and even ...

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Added: 9/15/2006 07:14:16 AM
Category: Arts
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