Shakespeare's "Hamlet": Nemesis and Catharsis Book Review by Jay Writtings LLC

Shakespeare's "Hamlet": Nemesis and Catharsis
A look at how Hamlet uses different elements of delay before he exacts revenge in William Shakespeare's "Hamlet".
# 119065 | 991 words | 4 sources | MLA | 2010 | US
Published on Mar 29, 2010 in Drama and Theater (English) , English (Analysis) , Shakespeare (Hamlet)

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This paper discusses how Shakespeare's tragedy "Hamlet" is, first and foremost, a revenge play--the entire plot revolves around Prince Hamlet's desire to exact revenge for his father's death. In particular, the paper discusses how like most revenge plays, the actual act is not achieved until the very end due to a series of unexpected delays in an effort to delay the momentum of the play. Through an analysis of the play, the paper attempts to theorize that Hamlet's delay is due to several points such as the ghost's origins giving him dubious reasons to follow its advice and Hamlet's nature which does not allow him to act in a manner without engaging all aspects of his emotional state. The paper also looks at how Hamlet's delay is simply because he wishes to wreak utter havoc upon the Danish court in order to achieve ultimate catharsis for himself.

From the Paper:

"Readers have also argued that it is Hamlet's very nature that disallows him to exact revenge. It is true that Hamlet is a compulsive talker. It is also true that he is unlike anyone else in that bright, corrupt court--his education, physical distance, and introspective nature coincide to make him an alien in his native land. Hamlet uses words to protect, and to protest himself. While many readers assert that this is a symbol of Hamlet's innate profundity, it seems too that he speaks in order to delay action. He is not a coward--his later decisive actions belie this. It is, perhaps, his tragic flaw to be intelligent enough to know that he cannot act yet unable to stop himself from analyzing every aspect of his revenge plot (Johnston 15)."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Shakespeare, William. Hamlet.
  • Harmon, William. A Handbook to Literature. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, 1999.
  • Johnston, Ian. Introductory Lecture on Shakespeare's Hamlet. (
  • Rosenblum, Joseph. A Reader's Guide to Shakespeare. New York: Salem Press, 1998.

Cite this Book Review:

APA Format

Shakespeare's "Hamlet": Nemesis and Catharsis (2010, March 29) Retrieved April 21, 2021, from

MLA Format

"Shakespeare's "Hamlet": Nemesis and Catharsis" 29 March 2010. Web. 21 April. 2021. <>