On the hand, there lies Claudius. The reader has just learned that he was willing to kill his own brother to become king. Murder is a horrible thing, but killing your own brother for your own selfish needs is far beyond horrible. When learning this, in combination with feel bad for Hamlet, the reader is left hating Claudius for what he has done. Additionally, this is a very important scene in the play.
Because he was blind to the prophecy, he blinds himself to remember everything he had done. His fate would have been execution, but by punishing himself, he makes other believe that he is punished. In addition to Oedipus avoiding his fate he is a coward in terms of his actions. He tells Creon to exile him far away because he is too afraid to deal with all that has happed. When he says “Drive me out of this country as quickly as may be to a place where no human voice can ever greet me.” (Ln.
133-134). Hamlet wishes that his body would melt away so he would not have to see Claudius and Getrude together again, and pretend as though all is well. Hamlet explains to us that he does want to die, but he says he can not because, “the Everlasting had not fix'd/His canon against self slaughter!” (I.ii. 134-135). If God had not ruled suicide a mortal sin, Hamlet would have commited suicide at once for what he was going through.
If Hamlet were to have seen his father’s ghost by himself, there would be a greater argument for him being insane from the outset of the play. Hamlet also exerts control over his actions, which is the main reason why it could be argued that he is sane. He actively tries to convince Polonius that he has gone mad - mocking him when he would usually be respectful, acting cruelly towards Ophelia whom he was clearly affectionate to earlier in the play. He does this in the hope that Polonius will tell the court of his madness. Hamlet is often hesitant to do things, for example where he had the chance to kill Claudius in the chapel but couldn’t bring himself to do it, not because he would be killing another human but because he wanted Claudius to suffer and not go straight to Heaven.
God! How weary, stale, flat, and unprofitable, Seem to me all the uses of this world! This is the first time that the reader sees Hamlet’s inner turmoil as he considers committing suicide over the death of his father but decides he cannot, for the consequence would be hell. It is important to note that purgatory and hell are referenced numerous times throughout the play as a consequence for giving into selfish thoughts or actions. In this particular instance however, this soliloquy also lends to the idea that Hamlet is insane due to the passing of his father.
He almost immediately begins planning his course of action towards revenge. Hamlet’s disgust toward his mother is only heightened with this news of murder, “O most pernicious woman! / O villain, villain, smiling damned villain!” (Iv.105-106). Old Hamlet’s ghost has warned Hamlet not to punish Gertrude with hell, but he does not seem to care. Hamlet has now taken this personal with his own desires for revenge, as well as his obligation to his deceased father.
Hamlet even seems to have forgotten the main reason why he is avenging his father’s death. Hamlet makes many decisions from not killing Claudius while he was praying to killing the innocent Polonius, and disobeying his father’s ghost’s instructions by tormenting his mother, and Laertes can be seen as the very opposite of Hamlet because he is everything that Hamlet is not. Hamlet’s delay of vengeance can also be seen as another
However, Claudius had a chance to make a choice, but since his desires for power and treasures were so overwhelming, he chose the murderous path. Knight states "Claudius cannot be blamed for his actions/ they are [rather] forced on him," (Knight, 6-7) and he argues that Claudius's murderous actions and plot of killing were backed up by self-defense to protect from Hamlet from taking away his throne and love of his life. Knight argued that his human sins of greed and envy foreshadowed his rightful judgment which leads him into these behaviors of wanting everything for himself. Furthermore, Knight claims that Hamlet is "inhuman, whose consciousness is centered on death/ As King of Denmark he would have a thousand times more dangerous than Claudius" (Knight, 9-10) because of the impact of finding out the truth
Furthermore, Shakespeare exhibits how Hamlet chose to devise a plan of acting mad, rather than avenging his father’s death immediately, progressing to his demise. On the other hand, Hamlet questions the appearance of his father: “The spirit that I have seen may be the devil”(II.ii.610,611). Consequently, Shakespeare conveys that Hamlet’s indecisiveness about his father’s murderer necessitates him to procrastinate more, and lead further to his death. However, Hamlet accomplishes the opportunity to murder Claudius, yet believes it is not the right time: “Up, sword, and know thou a more horrid hent”(III.iii.91). In fact, he desires that “...his soul may be damned and black as hell”(III.iii.97).
A villain kills my father, and for that, I his sole son do this same villain send to Heaven." This shows the audience that Hamlet is religious and that he fears the result of killing, Hamlet knows that if he kills Claudius while he prays, Claudius will go to heaven, and Hamlet will have to suffer the sin of killing. Another reason as to why Hamlet delays the murder, could be that he doubts the ghost, Hamlet conducts a play which reenacts the murder of his father to observe Claudius' reaction to it, if Claudius becomes hesitant, Hamlet will know the ghost speaks the truth, "I'll have grounds more relative