In "Hamlet" how does Hamlet change his perspective at the end?

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mrs-campbell eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Hamlet spends the entire play procrastinating exacting revenge on his uncle.  He makes excuses, mopes about pondering the meaning of life and death, puts on "antic dispositions" to throw everyone off, rants and raves against his mother and all women in general, even schemes with the players to devise a way to determine if his uncle is truly guilty or not.  He does all of this, but does not act.  It isn't until he is dispatched to England, with his uncle's orders for his death, that his attitude begins to change.  He realizes, finally, that his uncle really is guilty, and insidiously planning his own demise.  Also, as he stands in Denmark on the battlefield, he realizes that he has let all of his anger and intent "sleep"; seeing the soldiers marching to bloody war inspires him to "O, from this time forth, my thoughts be bloody, or be nothing worth!" (IV.iv.59-66).

So, finally, after an attempt on his own life, and seeing soldiers marching off to war and to bloody battlefields, Hamlet decides that "the readiness is all" and is resolved to act, once and for all.

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