How does Hamlet deal with revenge?

Expert Answers
lsumner eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Hamlet is hesitant in dealing with revenge. He desires to be sure that his Uncle Claudius has truly been the murderer of his father. He questions everything. He has to be certain that Claudius has indeed murdered his father.

Hamlet plans a reenactment of his father's murder. When the actors who have come to town reenact Hamlet's father's murder, Hamlet is looking for signs that Claudius is the murderer.

Hamlet had spoken with his father's ghost, but he is wise in making sure the murderer is Claudius. Hamlet takes precautions and does not act upon his father's blaming Claudius for his death. Hamlet goes to great lengths to be sure that Claudius has committed the murder of King Hamlet:

Slow to the conviction that the ghost is his dead father and that Claudius is guilty of regicide, Hamlet does not go straight to the task at hand. Hamlet's delay or procrastination is something about which critics have wondered and that the character himself agonizes, his self-reproach reaching an apex in Act IV, scene iv, which concludes with the words "O, from this time forth, My thoughts be bloody, or be nothing worth!" (lines 65-66).

Finally, Hamlet is convinced that Claudius has killed his father. Hamlet does not act with immediate revenge. He procrastinates. Of course, Hamlet realizes that he could lose his own life in revenge. Hamlet has to carefully plan the moment of revenge. Unfortunately, Claudius does not hesitate in his plan to have young Hamlet killed. Although Hamlet finally gets his revenge, he loses his life in the end.