Why does it take Hamlet so long to avenge his father's death?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

It really does not take Hamlet very long to avenge his father’s death. Hamlet is full of self-reproach, and there is some danger of the audience taking him at his own valuation as he castigates his own idleness. Perhaps the only action that really smacks of indecisiveness is his staging of an elaborate drama to force Claudius into betraying his guilt, when the ghost has already related all the circumstances of his murder in I.v. Having heard the ghost’s story, Hamlet seems very clear indeed that he believes it and that nothing in his life can be more important than recalling and following his father’s instructions.

Yea, from the table of my memory
I'll wipe away all trivial fond records,
All saws of books, all forms, all pressures past,
That youth and observation copied there;
And thy commandment all alone shall live
Within the book and volume of my brain,
Unmix'd with baser matter: yes, by heaven!
O most pernicious woman!
O villain, villain, smiling, damned villain!

Aside from this vacillation to...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 730 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

Posted on

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

Posted on