Consequenses of the revenge

greenspun.com : LUSENET : Kenneth Branagh's Hamlet : One Thread

Why doesnít Hamlet take revenge immediately ? What are the consequences of this?

-- Jonas (Jverschaeve@vt4.net), January 29, 2003

Answers

Hamlet needs proof objective proof of Claudius's guilt before he avenges his fathers' murder, as he has a concern that the ghost may be a malovent spirit who "abuses me to damn me", meaning that the ghost may be making a false accusation to spur Hamlet to murder Claudius without cause. As soon as Hamlet gets the proof he needs when Claudius is "frighted with false fire" when the players perform the murder of Gonzago, he tries to kill Claudius at his first opportunity - namely when Claudius is at confession. Before acting, Hamlet realizes that killing Claudius while he is praying would send Claudius' soul to heaven - whereas Hamlet's father (not having had time to confess his sins before he was murdered) is suffering in purgatory. Hamlet decides to wait until he can kill Claudius at a time when he is not in a state of grace. Hamlet believes this opportunity presents itself when Polonius shouts from behind the arras...which is why he kills Polonius so rashly...

-- Peter Babiak (peteresb@yorku.ca), June 25, 2003.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ