Why is Shakespeare's Hamlet boring?why is hamlet boring?

Expert Answers
lmetcalf eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Some people say that Hamlet is boring because "nothing happens."  They are referring to the seemed fact that Hamlet finds out that his father was murdered by his uncle at the end of Act 1 but doesn't do much to avenge the murder -- in fact, not really acting until Act 5.  He does think to act crazy and to put on a play reenacting the murder, but even after he has proof that Claudius is guilty he STILL talks himself out of acting against Claudius when he has the opportunity. Hamlet seems to be all thought and no action, or as he puts it all "judgement" and little "blood" (meaning passion).

What makes Hamlet such a compelling play is the fact that Hamlet doesn't act and the audience to left to wait in anticipation of his eventual revenge and has a chance to see a mind at work as Hamlet works through all of the various issues and concerns that plague him throughout the play.  It is a very psychological play, and the action is in Hamlet's mind.  Unfortunately, that doesn't always translate to exciting visuals on the stage.

teachersyl eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Usually readers who find Shakespeare boring are having difficulty reading the metaphors and missing the actual plot, "not seeing the forest for the trees," so to speak.

I would recommend a movie. You could try Mel Gibson's or Kenneth Branagh's versions of the play, but I would opt for "Renaissance Man" with Danny DeVito. It features students who are reluctant to read anything of substance, but "Hamlet" gave them insight into something truly important. Campy, yes, but quite entertaining.

wordprof eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This play is "boring" to you because you are just learning how to read this genre of literature, how to piece together the parts, to "cook" this complicated "recipe. The pace of your assembly is slow compared to the frantic demands of real life.  You don't mean that Hamlet is more boring than other plays you've read (if any) but that the act of reading a play required a concentration the real world won't let you have.  

litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I do not think Hamlet is boring at all!  If you are bored, it is likely because you are trying to read the play.  Shakespeare, and all plays really, is meant to be seen, heard and experienced.  You will not get the full effect from just reading!

anujumairah | Student

Be it reading or actually watching the movie, Hamlet, one deserve to have a critical mind. And the language (Old English) i suppose is quite problematic for some amateur readers, but paraphrase can do it justice. ;) Hamlet is not boring at all!

sammy-antha | Student

People may say that Hamlet is boring, because it's not set up like regular books, which is easier to tell if there is a fight, or romance, ect. scene going on. Also the play is like a long poem and some people may not understand what some lines mean, which would probably get them confused.

jerrad | Student

Hamlet is a play which has some reality in its plot. we cant even imagine of murdering someone who has offened you and by doing so has now secured a high level  of status in the society, that's reality. you have to wait for your chance to come, thats the thing that Hamlet performs but with the nature of postponing things he makes the play bit boring but with high profile he handles the difficult situations of his life. Shakespeare shows his maturity in handling things as if an ordinary person of importance. 

mq2006 | Student

It's not.