Guilt and Procrastination

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Guilt and Procrastination- A Deadly Combination It is better not to put off till tomorrow what you can do today. We have learned from history that procrastination can lead to many unwanted consequences. In William Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” we see a very good example of procrastination. Hamlet fails to act immediately upon the news that Claudius killed his father. Hamlet’s inaction is caused by his being overwhelmed with his own conscience. Therefore, Hamlet’s delay ultimately leads to the demise of many characters in the play. In this essay I am going to show how Hamlet’s inaction and obsession with thought led to many loved ones dying. Before I discuss how Hamlet affected the outcome for others in this play, I want to address Hamlet’s view of the nature of thinking. Throughout the play Hamlet is cursing thought. “For there is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so. To me it is a prison” (2.2.251). Hamlet sees the thought process as a form of a prison, where we are limited to our own thoughts. Eric P. Levy agrees when he says in his essay: “In Hamlet the ‘nutshell’ (2.2.254) of the mind is itself the ultimate prison. For here the individual is confined within his or her own ‘course of thought’ (3.3.83), and rendered vulnerable to the products of his or her own mentality: ‘Conceit in weakest bodies strongest works’ (3.4.114)… More insidious is the unchecked momentum of thought itself. Hamlet is intermittently aware of this influence, as when halting his own self-castigation for inaction: ‘About, my brains’ (2.2.584)” (Levy). Because of his obsession with the human mind Hamlet focuses more on his conscience than on the job at hand: revenge of his father’s murder. Hamlet begins to question the loyalty of all those around him. Not knowing who to trust causes him to delay in action. How does this distrust and procrastination affect others? If Hamlet

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