William Shakespeare, perhaps the greatest playwright of all time, authored a number of works consisting of sonnets, comedies, and tragedies. In his brilliant career, Shakespeare created literary works of art. What makes Shakespeare unlike any other writer of his time, or thereafter, is his ability to organize a realistic plot, manage themes, and develop characters within his works. As well, Shakespeare’s ability to provoke feeling and reaction to his writing is also what sets him apart from other common writers. Of his works, Hamlet is perhaps the most studied and most intriguing of the collected tragedies.
In this play, many audiences and critics question the actions of the characters and particularly the actions of Hamlet. The answer to: Why does Hamlet delay in avenging the death of his father?’ is one that is not easy to identify. Possible conclusions include the role of others in Hamlet, Hamlet’s religious nature, or even Hamlet’s tragic flaw as a hero in Hamlet.
In addition to the tragedy of human spirit, destiny, or the hero, Hamlet was written as a tragedy of conflict. In a close examination of the conflict of tragedy theme, there are two distinguishable types. The first involves the external conflicts; these often include elements such as antagonists, character foils, and other minor characters.
The second involves the internal conflicts including self, morality, and justice. This internal type of conflict is the basis for Hamlet and the character’s consequently tragic commission of a procrastinatic tragic hero. Together, both internal and external conflicts, if, when managed adequately, may be used as a measure for success in relation to overall effectiveness, as demonstrated in Hamlet. “Why, here are some eight violent deaths, not to speak of adultery, a ghost, a mad woman, and a fight in a grave!” In a few short words, the preceding quote is somewhat true; however, it only describes the plot. The focus of Hamlet as it relates to the human condition is dependent on character.
It is often argued that Hamlet was written as a tragedy of the human spirit.
Others argue that it is a tragedy of destiny, or the hero. At any rate, during the time of the Elizabethan era, it was entertainment. However, William Shakespeare exceeded the obvious entertainment endeavour, and achieved almost every writer’s natural quest: reflection from the audience. This reflection is perhaps a measure for all writers, provided that it is an audience whom the work is for. In almost every hero’s quest for the truth, none is more apparent than that of young Hamlet. This search for truth is borne of the passing of young Hamlet’s father.
It is at the critical moment of revelation by the Ghost of Hamlet that young Hamlet is destined for revenge. Although the concept of revenge may be considered an evil justice, it is evident that the importance here lay within the context of carrying out the fate. “But why in the world did not Hamlet obey the Ghost at once, and so save seven of those eight lives?” In a more appropriate sense, the question becomes: When will Hamlet kill Claudius to avenge the death of his father?’ The how and when of this vengeance becomes increasingly critical in the development of Hamlet the character as opposed to Hamlet the play. To fully comprehend the true essence of Hamlet as a son, a discoverer, and a destroyer, one must analyze each individual characteristic as revealed to the audience by Shakespeare. Incredibly, it is because of Shakespeare’s, perhaps unknowing consideration for the audience that reveals much about the characters in Hamlet, or any other play written by him for that matter. It was not enough that Shakespeare just wrote the play, he also emphasized the character’s thoughts and emotions through the soliloquies.
In fact, the whole idea of drama is to feel, to an extent, what the character feels. This premise should not be mistaken, in that the actors of the play ultimately have the greatest influence on the dramatic emphasis of certain words, or actions. However, in Hamlet, the use of the soliloquy offers the audience a gateway into the minds of the characters, and in this case the various reasons .