Why Hamlet delays killing Claudius?

Essay by desisweetyHigh School, 12th gradeA+, May 2004

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In the Shakespearean play, Hamlet, the main character, Hamlet delays killing Claudius, his father's murderer, for a number of reasons. His main reason is his unsure mind about the ghost's apparition, then his pure mind of not sinning himself for killing him at prayer and lastly because he wants to catch Claudius at a time when he is killed, he has no chance of going to heaven.

As the opening of the play, Hamlet learns about his dead father's murder. Even though he shows anger and want of revenge in front of the ghost, he is still unsure about it. He has already been depressed and he can be just hallucinating. He is not sure if that ghost is even his dead father, it can just be an illusion. Hamlet has no proof what the ghost is saying is true and for that he needs a witness.

After his meeting with the ghost, In Hamlet's soliloquy,

"Now I am alone.

O, what a rogue and peasant slave am I!

Is it not monstrous that this player here,

But in a fiction, in a dream of passion,

Could force his soul so to his own conceit

That from her working all his visage wann'd,

Tears in his eyes, distraction in's aspect,

A broken voice, and his whole function suiting

With forms to his conceit? and all for nothing!

For Hecuba!..." (II, ii, 545-554)

He shows his uncertain self about the ghost's appearance and everything he has learned from it. He wants to be sure before he commits a sin. Hamlet plans a play that will reenact Old Hamlet's death to observe how Claudius reacts to it.

When Hamlet is more confident about his father's murder, he is ready to kill Claudius. The second reason he...