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Hamlet's dilemma is primarily an internal struggle. After the murder of his father, Hamlet becomes indecisive and confused by the options before him. His indecision is the main conflict in the play, and it leads to his eventual downfall. As the son of the king, it is his duty to avenge his father's murder and reclaim the rightful place on the throne from Claudius. However, it seems to him like his duty to kill Claudius and reclaim the throne is rather drastic, and he ponders the guilt he might feel for taking these dramatic steps.

Beyond that, however, his religious beliefs prevent him from committing murder. He wants desperately to follow God, but his familial responsibilities are urging him to kill Claudius. In the end, he does kill Claudius but himself dies in the act—the decision was his overall undoing.

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Prince Hamlet's dilemma concerns his difficult decision to avenge his father's death by murdering his uncle, King Claudius. Toward the beginning of the play, Hamlet is visited by his father's ghost, and King Hamlet explains how Claudius poisoned him in the orchard and instructs Hamlet to avenge his death. Initially, Hamlet vows to avenge his father but hesitates to murder Claudius because he is unsure if the ghost was actually telling the truth or simply the devil attempting to doom his spirit.

Before Hamlet confirms that Claudius committed regicide, he contemplates committing suicide during his famous soliloquy in act 3, scene 1. Hamlet struggles with the decision to commit suicide because he fears that he will doom his soul and is afraid of the great unknown. Even after Hamlet confirms that Claudius murdered his father, he continues to hesitate and passes on the perfect opportunity to assassinate Claudius while he is praying. Hamlet refrains from killing his uncle because he does not want Claudius's spirit to ascend to heaven. Hamlet's hesitation, indecision, and reluctance to avenge his father's death leads to the tragic outcome of the play when the entire royal family is murdered during a fencing match between Hamlet and Laertes.

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The title character of Shakespeare's tragedy Hamlet is caught in a state of indecision. The main dilemma that Hamlet faces if of deciding what to do.

His father, the king, is dead. His mother is remarried to his father's brother. A specter that appears to be his father's ghost has told him that this same brother, Hamlet's uncle Claudius, is the one who killed him. To avenge his father, Hamlet will have to kill his uncle. But without any further proof of Claudius's crimes, Hamlet is reluctant to commit regicide and potentially jeopardize his country. There is no right choice, so how can he choose?

Over the course of the play, Hamlet delivers seven soliloquies, during which he is alone on stage and offering the audience a window into his deeply conflicted mental state. Each of these monologues express Hamlet's indecision to one degree or another, the most famous of course being "To be or not to be," in which Hamlet debates the merits of even staying alive at all.

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Hamlet's central dilemma is how to avenge his father without further harming his country or the people he loves. While he could exclusively blame his uncle, Claudius, for killing his father (also named Hamlet), the fact remains that his mother, Gertrude, married Claudius only a few months after her first husband's death. Hamlet must wonder if his mother was complicit in the murder itself. He loves his mother, but his moral standards push him to include her in his revenge.

These qualms play out in his indecisiveness. He alternates between carrying out the complicated plan he has set in motion to trap Claudius ("catch the conscience of a king") and worrying so much about the consequences that he can take no further steps ("lose the name of action").

This dilemma plagues him so much that he contemplates suicide as a way to avoid committing murder ("To be or not to be . . .")—not a real solution as it would substitute one sin for another.

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Like Shakespeare’s other tragic heroes (Macbeth, Othello, Brutus, and Lear), Hamlet is destroyed not by circumstances but by a flaw in his own character. Introspective and indecisive, he is unable to function effectively as he struggles with a conflict that defies a solution consistent with his sense of honor and morality and with the expectations of his society. Hamlet is honor-bound to avenge the murder of King Hamlet. As the prince of Denmark, he cannot ignore regicide, the most heinous of crimes, and he cannot accept the presence of a usurper on the Danish throne. Additionally, as a son, he must avenge his father’s murder; Hamlet’s rage—and the mores of his society—demand revenge. His course of action seems clear: he must kill the vile Claudius. Hamlet’s religious faith, however, makes his course of action anything but clear, since it forbids murder. Ensnared by his social position, the demands of his conscience, the demands of society, the canons of his faith, and his own thirst for justice, Hamlet is trapped. Even suicide offers no escape, since “self-slaughter” is also a mortal sin. When Hamlet agonizes, “To be or not to be--that is the question,” he finds no acceptable answer.

To let Claudius live is morally wrong, but to kill him is morally wrong, too, and a threat to Hamlet’s own soul. Consequently, Hamlet thinks rather than acts, torturing himself with memories of his beloved father and thoughts of his mother’s incestuous marriage to Claudius. He examines his own conscience, observes and evaluates his own behavior and the behavior of others, and seizes upon one reason after another to delay resolving his dilemma. Hamlet cannot let Claudius escape justice, but he will not act decisively, choosing instead to pursue various clever schemes through which he convinces himself for a while that he is moving toward a solution. Ultimately, Hamlet’s dilemma is resolved, but its resolution is not the consequence of careful thought or personal introspection. When he watches his mother die and Claudius’s plot to kill him is revealed, Hamlet’s indecision ends abruptly. He kills Claudius and then dies.

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