The question of why Hamlet does not immediately avenge his father's death is probably the best-known critical problem in Shakespeare studies. The most obvious reply to this inquiry is that if the Danish prince moved at once upon the Ghost's report of foul "murther" and killed Claudius straightaway, then there would be no further story for Shakespeare to tell after the start of the play's second act. From this simplistic (if valid) standpoint, Hamlet's delay is essential to the tragedy's narrative progression. More important, while there is plenty of action in Hamlet (a stage work in...
(The entire page is 1259 words.)
Want to read the whole thing?
Subscribe now to read the rest of this article. Plus, get access to:
- 30,000+ literature study guides
- Critical essays on more than 30,000 works of literature from Salem on Literature (exclusive to eNotes)
- An unparalleled literary criticism section. 40,000 full-length or excerpted essays.
- Content from leading academic publishers, all easily citable with our "Cite this page" button.
- 100% satisfaction guarantee READ MORE