Why Doesn't Hamlet Just Kill Claudius?
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Focusing on the evidence in the Hamlet's first two soliloquies, this paper examines the psychological complexities that immobilize Hamlet and delay his revenge. It includes critical theories of T.S. Eliot and Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Evidence is also presented to show that in modern terms Hamlet could be described as a manic depressive. A close analysis of the diction and imagery of the soliloquies is supplied.
From the Paper:"Hamlet is Shakespeare's adaptation of an old tale out of the "revenge" tradition. As such it was considered an "artistic failure" (Eliot) by T.S. Eliot and others who offered critical thoughts over the centuries. In opposition to Eliot, others, like Samuel Taylor Coleridge see in Hamlet a model of the psychological complexities that they imagine in themselves. Coleridge said, "I have a smack of Hamlet" (Kermode 1135). With these words he started generations of scholars and theatregoers on their introspective analysis of how Hamlet's delay in killing Claudius shows them something about their personal demons of delay. Hamlet had plenty of motive for killing Claudius, but the psychological perplexity of his character delays his revenge. If he just rushed ahead and killed Claudius, the play would be over way too soon and all those who read and watch Hamlet would lose the opportunity to see their own complicated psyches reflected in the central character. Believing that Shakespeare was concerned with deep questions of character and their universal application, rather than that he "tackled a problem which proved too much for him" (Eliot), this paper, siding with the Coleridge faction, will analyze Hamlet's first two soliloquies to show complex psychological factors that answer the question: Why Doesn't Hamlet Just Kill Claudius?"
Cite this Analytical Essay:
Why Doesn't Hamlet Just Kill Claudius? (2003, February 08) Retrieved July 05, 2020, from https://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/why-doesn-t-hamlet-just-kill-claudius-6448/
"Why Doesn't Hamlet Just Kill Claudius?" 08 February 2003. Web. 05 July. 2020. <https://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/why-doesn-t-hamlet-just-kill-claudius-6448/>