To some degree, Hamlet's slaying of Claudius in Act V is anti-climactic. As many critics, such as Harold Bloom, have written, Hamlet seems to have abandoned his role of revenge and slays Claudius in a kind of haphazard way that does not give the reader a great sense of revenge. Instead of being about revenge, Acts IV and V are about Hamlet's philosophical development.
For example, in Act IV, Scene 4, Hamlet finds out that a captain is going to fight for a useless piece of land. He reflects:
How all occasions do inform against me,
And spur my dull revenge! What is a man
If his chief good and market of his time
Be but to sleep and feed? A beast, no more. (IV.4.31-35)
Hamlet wonders, as he has before, about the makings of a man. While the situation should encourage Hamlet to take revenge quickly against his uncle for slaying his father, Hamlet instead takes time to consider what makes a person human. He wonders what the use of human life is if it is only used for bestial concerns such as sleeping and...
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